Saturday 20 April 2019

The Potato Patch

By Michal Reibenbach


The neglect in the garden has long settled in. In summer the only flowers in the garden are a few Hollyhocks who stubbornly show their tall, magnificent blooms above the tangle of weeds.

Every day after work her father goes out into the garden, where he plants row upon row of potatoes.
His little daughter is curious about the potato patch, ‘Why are you planting so many potatoes?’

‘The potatoes will clear the ground from the weeds,’ he explains.

‘What shall we do with so many potatoes?’ is her next question.

‘If Moses supposes his toeses are roses then Moses supposes erroneously; for nobodies toeses are poses or roses, as Moses supposes his toeses to be,’ chants her father.

The daughter thinks to herself, ‘He’s reciting a tongue twister in order not to answer my questions.’ Out loud she simply says, ‘You are funny!’ 

Occasionally a scientist friend of her father comes to visit. He watches on with intrigue as her father rushes energetically from one end of a row of potatoes to the other, digging up potatoes at each end, then moving onto the next row and going through the whole ritual once again. Her father clarifies, ‘The potatoes are spreading at such an alarming rate, I’m endeavoring to contain the patch so that it doesn’t completely swallow up the whole garden.’

The scientist says, ‘With your energy and my brains we could build a thriving business together!’

Their cottage used to be an old stable. Her father piles up the potatoes in a part of the cottage, which hasn’t as yet been renovated. Daily the stack of potatoes is growing ever larger. The potatoes at the bottom of the pile begin to rot and to smell revolting. The nauseating smell attracts cats who come to ‘pee’ on the pile. It now begins to stink ‘to high heaven’. The little daughter asks her father, ‘Why don’t you sell the potatoes instead of letting them rot?’

Once again to avoid  answering his daughter’s question her father chants, ‘If Moses supposes his toeses are roses, then Moses supposes erroneously; for nobody’s toeses are poses or roses, as Moses supposes his toeses to be!’

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