Inspired by a haiku written by JannaTWrites > Nature – Haiku


Sorrel thrived in the city rubbish dump.

The kind woman, taking pity, uprooted and brought him home. She cleaned and trimmed, and removed the parasites that infested him. She placed Sorrel near the window, so that nourishing sunlight bathed him. Besides a clean soft bed, she fed him all sorts of nutrients which modern science had birthed.

However, after a week, Sorrel fell ill. He shrivelled and withered. No matter what the woman tried, Sorrel’s condition worsened.

Finally, he bent down in death.

“I wonder whether I should have simply left you in the rubbish dump,” whispered the woman, as she pulled out the dead plant and tossed it into a rubbish bin.


Sorrel – A boy’s name but also a vegetable, eaten in soups, sauces and salads.

Notice, how some plants sprout spontaneously in the wild. Yet, even when nurtured with care in our gardens and flowerpots, they wither and die.

____________ Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2014 ____________

Lifelong Friends

BeckNCall Front Cover(5)




  1. Remember those days when the hawkers prepared food at the night market, how tasty and inviting they looked. Licking our hands while slurping the ice ball was a great treat. Too much of hygienic food now and they all seem to taste the same.

    Whatever Sorrel was fed with, it must be totally tasteless and unappetizing. Better to die than to suffer prolonged torture of “healthy” food…LOL.

    1. I like your take, Windy

      Too much hygiene, like too much of anything (even good stuff), is bad. Better to add a touch of bacteria 🙂


  2. Maybe, like some people who are happy and thrive where they are born and grown, if one takes them away, or offers to give what they are not used to receiving they may too wither and die. Some cannot be happily transplanted.

    1. Hello Joyce,

      Yes, you’re right – now that you mentioned it, I actually know people who are like that. They could have done better elsewhere – but whose definition of “better” is that? Mine? Doesn’t count – not in their chosen lives.

      All good wishes,

  3. Many authors have personified animals. But plants were uncharted territory until Alagan came along. Oh, what about Tolkien’s ents?

    1. Now, how did I ever miss this comment? Apologies, my friend.

      As a bee, I’ve always wanted to be a flower – save me the trouble of having to collect nectar 🙂

      1. Good idea!

        They’re strange creatures, though – one life, one partner. Geez!

        Well, okay then – time to keep the tabby-female-able-and-willing members of my clan happy. Watch it kitties, here comes Tommy Alley!

        (As you can deduce – I’m getting a running start here 🙂 )

  4. This is where the phrase “To each his own” applies. Some are happy where they are even if others think it is a dump. Try to change them and you make them miserable.

    Yes, I too am guilty of having killed some plants. I wanted it to always bloom. Initially it did, but with too much nourishment, it finally died. Now I just leave the other plants to grow and bloom at their own pace.

    1. Jasey dearest,

      Here I’m going to play one-upmanship with you.

      Do you know how many goldfish I fed to death; kept changing the bowl water until the poor buggers died of chlorine poisoning; or took them out and played with them until they died of heat stroke. My excuse is – I was young 🙂

      Like you and with your plants, now – I simply watch the goldfish in aquariums or in someone else’s fish tank – or on YouTube!

      Luv and hugz,

    1. Hello Val dear,

      Trust you’d a good weekend.

      Yes, I know – I do have a twisted mind 👿 and poor woman – she did mean well.

      All good wishes,

    1. Hello Juliana,

      Yes, you’re right. When we check the internet – a whole bunch of meanings fall out. Sorrel is much more common than I first thought.

      Thank you for sharing – I learnt something new today,

  5. Yes I have Eric, with wild strawberry plants that I found in the woods.

    This could be a metaphor for life as well. Sometimes we don’t understand other cultures for example, and we think we’re doing them a favour by urging them to adopt our way of thinking, but really, we’re killing their spirit and questioning everything that has ever given them esteem and worth.
    Diana xo

    1. Hello Diana,

      Leave it to you to recognise and say it as it is – and so very true too. We sometimes foist our ideas of what is ideal on others. And quite often when we have not got it right in the first place.

      We need more open and loving souls like you, Diana – to help build bridges.

      Peace and blessings,

  6. Very true. While I was still living with my parents, we always wanted to grow scent plants in our backyard garden. But for some unexplanable reason, they never thrived.

    This flash is rich morally, too.

    My take? Some people think it’s best when they indulge in bad habits or keep bad company. It takes more than just uprooting them from this dark environment to change them.

    1. Hello Uzo, my friend,

      I like your take on the flash.

      My grandpa used to say, he who feasts on shit does not smell the shit!

      I know, grandpa was a straight shooter – and some say, I take after him – LOL!

      People can change, I reckon – but only when they want to change.

      Peace, Bro,
      P/s In my family – Lisa is the one with green fingers. I’m pretty good in churning the soil 🙂

  7. Ah, lovely story! (Well, not that the plant didn’t thrive, but the lesson that sometimes our best intentions can’t produce a life where none was meant to be.) So happy my haiku inspired your story – I appreciate the link-back 🙂

    1. Hello Janna,

      We bloggers all inspire one another with our writings and thoughts – and yours certainly do. I love reading your posts and especially your self deprecating humour 🙂

      All good wishes,
      P/s Happy to link-back

    1. This is so lovely, Jane

      I did not think of zoos and circuses – and you’re so very right. Thank you my dear – you’ve revealed new facets that have been staring but their familiarity had cloaked them from me.

      Peace and blessings,

    1. Thank you, Doctor for the reblog and kind comment. I sincerely believe that people are gifted with wisdom. How else can I learn from them – if not by asking questions.

      Contrary to what the casual observer might think – you know that my posts are not words of wisdom – but questions that seek answers.

      When we read the commenters’ contributions, we are rewarded by the bountiful harvest – people share so freely of their thoughts. Such nourishment, I reckon.

      P/s Perhaps my reply is somewhat incoherent – it’s close to 11.00 pm here and I’m filled with medication to shake off a small illness. I think in the morning, I’ll be my usual nasty self 🙂

    1. Thank you, Doctor.

      My regular readers are familiar with what I usually say > Toss a pebble into the brushes and see what flutters out. There’s much we can learn – especially for the person who tossed that pebble – moi 🙂


  8. Lots of nutrients in a rubbish heap Eric. I think Sorrel missed the mulch. As usual though, you like to dabble in deep meanings and it does raise some questions in our human interactions. Obviously helping people up the ladder of success when they could never do it by themselves is an obligation. But some don’t appreciate that help do they, and squander their new opportunities.

    1. Hello Ian,

      I see your angle about helping those who need help.

      In the mid 1990s, someone close fell on bad times and came to me for money. It started with a couple of hundreds that quickly escalated into the low thousands. Didn’t take me long to realise it was a bottomless pit. Therefore, I started a small business, tested my marketing concept. Proved that it worked and turned the idea over to him. It was in his line of profession and hence, not as if he was out of his element. He simply would not go for it – because it was too much work, he thought.

      I spent two hours a day and made a thousand dollars in the first month. With his business contacts in this line and with 8 hours a day, he could have made about $4,000 a month – enough even in 2014 and a princely sum in the 1990s. But he wanted ‘easy money’.

      I must be dumb because I’ve yet to make a single ‘easy dollar’ in my life.

      I know what you mean when you say “some don’t appreciate that help do they, and squander their new opportunities.”

      Peace and blessings,

  9. A good tale with a true moral, but don’t we anguish when our well placed but ill-informed intentions go amiss?.
    Thank you for provoking thoughts for Monday.
    PS I hope that you are feeling better/ JS

    1. Hello Jane,

      Yes, I’m also guilty of trying to do good and ended up doing less good. Realized I was doing ‘good’ more for myself than for the supposed recipient of my good deeds.

      Have a great start to the week,
      P/s I’m okay now, Jane dear – thank you for the thought.

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