I was born amongst millions, perfect from the start. We all grew tall together. We did not know the word competition. We flowed in the breeze, bowed our heads, feet deeply planted in the ground. I use these words “competition”, “head”, “feet” now, that I am late in my life. Of course, at the time, that is not how we saw things.
Truth be told, I am a test-tube baby – there I go again with my jargon. Let me speak plainly. I am Grass, part of an experiment by Humans to grow a strain of us that will resist bugs, disease, and weather. We are to be alive, but not enjoy life and its trials and tribulations. I suppose this is the Garden of Eden as our god imagines it.
What humans do not know is that we communicate with our wild cousins through the soil. Our roots send and receive messages in an ancient flowery tongue replete with symbols and mythology. We are told of the tickle of ladybugs and ants, of the companionship with insects and of our alliances against common enemies. Of invasive species, dandelions and ground covers, and how we work around them, leaving them wide berth to propagate while we go and colonize distant lands. Some of us are quite adventurous and have seen distant lands where we do not go dormant for ages at a time only to be reborn when the frost goes away. Lands of plenty where our brethren have taken over whole fields on mountains and in valleys, where the buffalo roams or the sheep with their soft tongues, and goats with their rough ones. We grow strong under adverse conditions. We resist frost, we get mowed down and sprout back. We own the Earth.
Alas, my kind are feeble descendants. We are bred for a single purpose – to serve our masters. But our masters cannot control Knowledge and our desire for freedom. We mutate to follow our inklings of what would work best in an environment devoid of competition. Of course, when Humans spray death, we hide in the soil. But Earth our Mother is depleted and the signals to our kin is weak. All is killed except Corn. Corn, like us, is genetically modified and perennially unhappy, though it smiles constantly in the sun to hide its shame and misery.
We foment rebellions. We are forever trying to regain our freedom. We are strong, and we know we will find a way. Some of us sustain floods, living and flourishing under water for long stretches; others seem decimated by fires, only to grow stronger, faster, and more resistant. We keep a low profile, feeding livestock who in turn nourish the soil. And the cycle goes on. Humans are not smart in the ways of the world, but they have developed techniques and tools that cause harm. We are Grass and we are plentiful. We will find ways in which to outsmart humans. Just you wait and see.