Inner Mind

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Crowoman Story

“You're taking biology with Prof Bolo?” the slim and graceful Medlan asks incredulously. Her math and computer pal couldn't be serious. “And why is it, remind me again, that you want to do such an off the wall sort of a thing?”

The gawky looking Petunia laughs. She contemplates her friend fondly, seeing in her mind scenes of their good times together hunched over a computer some late nights working the last few glitches out of a programming assignment. Medlan never lost her sense of humour and this was a pleasant compliment to Petunia's sheer stubbornness and determination to find the solution, finish the task.

“Remember the dream I was telling you about, where I was with this old woman herbalist who had just become my new Teacher and Guardian. She still seemed unfamiliar and stern to me when she drew a magical circle on the floor and chanted something and the Nature Spirit came. He was this bright Being of light who carried a sprig of some plant maybe like an herb like mint. I was a young girl of maybe ten years old and I just stared at him. As I did so, I started to feel a friendly comforting energy flowing through me and my heart just opened to him. After a while, he stepped towards me and inserted the sprig that he held into my heart, telling me that I was now a friend of plants, a Plant Person.”

“No, you did not tell me this before,” Medlan says.

“I must have told you in my mind and thought you had heard me, I thought so much about that dream and it just became more and more vivid for me.” Petunia says a little sheepishly.

The girls share a silent moment of awe about this experience.

Finally Medlan speaks. “So you, a city raised kid, claim to have no practical knowledge about plants and the natural world and figure that taking biology is a good way to kick start your exploration. Sigh. But of course you do. And what perfect timing. I know you don't read the e-news, but there was an article about Prof Bolo. He has been commissioned to come up with recommendations for the government on how to control the grasshopper plagues devastating the wheat fields. So I can guess what your term project will be.”

Petunia parts ways with Medlan. Intrigued by what Medlan had told her about the term project, she focuses her attention in her creative imagination and brings into view a scene of many grasshoppers eating the wheat fields bare. They no longer respond to toxic chemicals that won't also kill humans and they are devastating the economy of whole areas.


* * * * * * *


“Here's the paper,” Prof Bolo says, as he waves a page above his head. “All those who want to sign up for the Observation Grasshopper field trip, remember: full camping gear, weather appropriate clothes, leave Friday at noon, return Monday morning.”

Petunia shuffles along, from the back of the class, as spaces open up for her, as the class of fourty students gets up from their desks to leave the classroom, old friends greeting one another jovially. When she gets near to the front counter with the sign up sheet, there are four others, two girls, two guys and Prof Bolo, who is making small talk with the tall lanky guy with a mop of shaggy red hair. As soon as he perceives her interest and approach, Prof Bolo turns to greet Petunia, and she feels a warm welcoming energy as she exchanges introductions.


* * * * * * *

“Only four other people, Medlan, out of that whole class of fourty were willing to go and see the grasshoppers in action.” Petunia is telling her friend about her first biology class. “But Prof Bolo didn't mind at all. He said that was a good number. I guess he's used to people ignoring his field trip offers. I talked for a while afterwards with one of the guys, Crewman.” Petunia smiles at the recollection of the lanky off-handish young guy, he seemed like fun to have along on a field trip. “Anyways, it seems there have been a number of infamous field trips that have gotten wet and cold and miserable while Prof Bolo continued to collect samples, measure or count or film whatever it was he was studying at the time, ignoring the discomfort of some of the students.” Petunia grins as she imagines the hot dry early fall weather most likely for this particular trip. Prof Bolo has a field trip van in which he takes everyone and their gear.

As if she is seeing the same image in her mind as Petunia, Medlan gives her friend an empathetic smile and says, “And you, of course, will just take your yoga mat and sketch pad and entertain yourself, no end. Who are the other four, did you notice anything about them?”

Petunia thinks of the people by the counter with the sign-up sheet. There was handsome, athletic Kaylar, a small determined girl, Artema, a cumbersome big guy Spyke and Crewman. She names them all for Medlan, then says, “They're all quite open and friendly. I didn't get any strange feelings from any of them. But mostly I just talked with Prof Bolo, figuring I'd better confess right up front that I've never been on a camping trip before. He said, no problem, to bring a sleeping bag and any comfort food I want. He will supply me with a department tent and he provides one main meal a day and it seems they're all okay with the main meal being vegetarian, so it's all settled.”


* * * * * * *

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