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Nov 26

It's a good cause

Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 in Strange and Unusual

Nope, I’m not talking about dad’s recent plug for the Jack and Jill foundation, though it’s a worthy post to read.

I’m talking about gratuitous violence. The type that many would label inhumane, but that leads to a happy ending. Fishing, for example. If I ever find myself lucky enough to tag along on a fishing trip and accidently catch a fish, I’ll happily brain the thing on a rock if it means I get to eat it. If not, I’ll send it back to it’s home with a sore lip.

I’m not a fan of furs, or foxhunting, or frying ants with magnifying glasses. Random death isn’t that amusing or pretty to me. Death needs a cause. Survival being the main cause I suppose. This brings me to Audrey III.

It’s not the most original name I suppose, but I had to name her after the leading actor in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, it only seems right.

jaws.JPG

Audrey III is a Venus Fly Trap. The Accidental Terrorist found her in LIDL one day, and brought her home to me. She sits on my windowsill in her little swampy patch and waits. She is, however, only a baby which means she’s quite naive when it comes to feeding herself. Flies just simply didn’t fancy alighting on her open jaws, for some reason, and she grew weak. I realised that she needed some mothering. So, I bought myself a fly swat.

The weeks that followed found me yelping with delight when a fly entered my territory. I would chase it around the room, swatting at random. Eventually the fly and swatter would connect, thus batting the wounded insect out of sight. I’d then have to crawl around on hands and knees, searching for the body. Once found, the tweezers would come out, and the sick fly would then be placed gently in the open jaw of Audrey III. The smallest movement from the insect would stimulate the tiny hairs on her tongue, and *SNAP*, her jaw would shut, remaining glued until the unfortunate insect was sucked dry.

I fed her on every opportunity. I experimented with various food types. Earwigs are no good as they’re too tough. Slugs are just too big altogether. Spiders are the most interesting items to feed Audrey III. She’ll close her jaws, suck on the carcass for a few days, then open up again to reveal a macabre spider skeleton still clinging, it’s eyes rolled back from the horror of it all. Amazing stuff.

You might think this a slightly twisted pre-occupation for a young mother, but like I say, it’s to a good cause.

My little plant, you see, had not left my hard work un-noticed. She grew very quiet suddenly… her little piping ‘Feed Me!’ voice was still. I tried to offer up a few carcasses, but she refused to shut her jaws. She was obviously working on something.

Sure enough, a growth developed at the center of the plant. The appendage grew and grew, eventually to quite a ridiculous length. It’s tip grew to heavy for Audrey to support it, so I propped her new growth against the window pane. Then, she flowered.

Isn’t she pretty in a strange sort of way?

flower.JPG

plant-1.JPG

plant-2.JPG

Bring on the comments

  1. JackMcMad says:

    Jesus that’s some growth alright. I’d watch it though, you know what it’s doing don’t you? It’s reaching out to others of it’s kind looking for some polleny copulation. I’ve seen day of the triffids!
    Why don’t you try a pet shop for live insects for food? Anyone that deals with Snakes/Lizards/Spiders will have a good selection.

  2. Foreigner says:

    D’ya now, this story has a real awwww-factor.

    I’d even give it a try if not my non-greenest fingers in whole Ireland (or maybe even in the world).

    Plants SEE me and drop dead. Some make effort and wither for a while.

    Even IVY doesn’t grow in my garden!!

  3. K8 says:

    McMad; Bollocks to that! I’d probably accidentally open me bag o’ flies in the car on the way home. Nah, fly hunting is good craic, sure!

    Foreigner; I still can’t grow a proper hash – er, sorry, tomato plant though. It’s quite frustrating.

  4. Baino says:

    Hahaha . . .Little Shop of Horrors meets Day of the Triffid . . . careful it’ll break your windows eventually! I just hope Olivia the Clivia doesn’t get jealous!

  5. SID says:

    I am sooooo jealous!!!

    That is a terrible beauty indeed.

    A “good” mother would pop the too-hard-too-digest-earwig into her mouth first to break it up a bit for her wee baby.

    I’m calling social services.

  6. Kate says:

    Awww… a face only a mother could love. Good thing there’s a lot of us mothers out there.

  7. Granny says:

    Very impressiveK8, but remind me never to borrow your tweezers..

    Love, Mammy.

  8. Brianf says:

    K8, How cool!! Audrey III’s way of saying thanks.

    Foreigner, Could you stop by and talk to the Ivy around my house?

  9. Grandad says:

    It looks to me like Audrey is looking for fresh meat. If I were you, I’d keep my windows closed.

  10. Foreigner says:

    K8 – hash – err…tomatoes are highly overrated anyway. If you want to get dizzy and confused and possibly addicted just watch couple of episodes of Eastenders or Corrie. Results!

    BrianF – all you need to do is THREATEN you ivy with my visit. It’ll be neat’n’humble in no time!

  11. K8 says:

    Baino; I’ve never seen that Triffid film. Is it one of those very very old ones with close-ups of women screaming? I love those.

    SID; mmmm. Crunchy. I’d say you’d have to bite down pretty quick once it’s in there! Full of calcium though.

    Kate; My kids are beautifully ugly too :)

    Ma; It’s ok, fly goo greases the tweezers up real nice.

    Brian; Isn’t it? Don’t envy you the Ivy.. you get pretty nasty beasties hanging around that stuff!

    Da; I’m training it to eat kittens at the moment.

    Foreigner; I have no tv! I used to be hooked on the corry but surprisingly haven’t missed it much over the last two years.
    We are currently hooked on Boston Legal box-sets. You really can’t bate the Crane Poole and Schmidt!

  12. Good God woman, what else are you feeding Audrey III? :)

    You must have great mothering skills! :)

  13. JackMcMad says:

    ‘Day of the Triffids’ is a BBC TV series. It’s being repeated on UKTVG2T3+1. Oh wait, they’ve just renamed that channel. It’s called DAVE now. I wonder why.

  14. Baino says:

    Well there you go, it was a book by mad scientist John Wyndham that I read in high school I haven’t seen the film . . rampant plants take over the world. A veiled depiction of the Soviet menace. Big windy planty things that can move around and cause havoc.

  15. K8 says:

    Jefferson; I fed it one of the neighbour’s kids once. He was only two, so his parents weren’t all that attatched to him yet.

    McMad; Dave? *giggle* When’s DAVEGOLD2+1 coming out, then?

    Baino; That sounds a bit mad. Right up my street though. You have to love those mad scientists!

  16. Conortje says:

    Good grief – I actually find that fascinating but then again I am a wee bit of a freak. Isn’t it mad what you can buy in Lidl…… (running off to try and find a carnivorous plant)

  17. So she relies on insects for both food and reproduction. I hadn’t thought about that before, there is a chilling sense to it……

  18. My God, look at that growth! She’s really begging for it. Keep your other plants away, she’ll rape ’em soon as leer at ’em.

    Apparantly, venus fly traps can count. Up to three anyway because it takes three hair triggers for the plant to know to snap. That means they must have a rudimentary memory because when they feel the 3rd hair trigger they have to remember they’ve felt the first two and recognise it as the third. Leave the third hair trigger too long and they forget about the first two. It might be fun to try it out with the tweezers. It’s a simple chemical memory that dissipates over time, but hell, it’s still way cool, I reckon.

  19. K8 says:

    Conortje; I know! These newfangled european chainstores are amazing for their bizarre imports. Every now and then we have an ‘unidentifiable foodstuff’ night, where we crack open a tin of Grabbelschtinkt for dinner. It’s like playing russian roulade, really.

    Thriftcriminal; Isn’t there? It certainly gives me a better insight into the antics of my strange neighbours!

    Problemchildbride; Chemical memory… this is food for thought. Maybe this is the way to solving conundrums like the effectiveness of Homoeopathy?! In the words of Berk from ‘Trapdoor’, “Ain’t nature wonderful?”

  20. […] K8 wrote a while ago about her carnivorous plant.  Her plant ate teeny little flies.  I can go one better than that.  I have trees that eat […]

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