Story of the sheep-eating plant

This is written as an eclogue, a conversation between two shepherds.

Day Of The Triffids?

Shepherd 1: “Can you believe it …

A modern-day triffid
that gets rid of sheep
and other small mammals
so stupid they creep
too close to its spines.
That’s the murderous Puya Chilensis.

They’re speared or entangled.
Nothing new-fangled
about the idea
but there’s nothing so queer
as a plant that kills sheep –
creatures so poor and defenceless.

Entrapped by the spines,
in no time at all
they’re dead and decay,
and are rotting away,
a nutrititious puree
for the ravenous Puya Chilensis.”





Shepherd 2: “Yes, I’ve heard of the Puya …

Puya likes nothing better
than getting a flavour
of a savoury lamb,
flambéed you know
and with mint sauce to go
for taste and to sharpen the senses.

So don’t get too close
or you’ll be Sunday roast
or a human kebab
skewered through the chest
in a feckless attack
by the back-stabbing Puya Chilensis.

Don’t drop your defences,
chill out but take care
or I swear that you will
be killed and consumed,
nothing left to exhume
but the roots of the Puya Chilensis.”

19th June 2013

Notes:  “RHS ‘sheep-eating’ plant about to bloom in Surrey.”  A South American plant with a three-metre tall flower spike is about to bloom in a Surrey glasshouse for the first time since it was planted 15 years ago.  The plant has bright greeny-yellow flowers on tall spikes above razor-sharp spines.  In the Andes it uses its sharp spines to snare and trap sheep and other animals, which slowly starve to death.  The animals then decay at the base of the plant, acting as a fertiliser.  The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) at Wisley said that it was growing in the arid section of their glasshouse with its deadly spines well out of reach of both children and sheep alike.



One thought on “Story of the sheep-eating plant

  1. Pingback: | Sheep-Eating Plants Growing In United Kingdom

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