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     An Imagined conversation between the Creator and
    St. Francis on the subject of lawns.

     GOD said, " Frank, you know all about gardens and nature, what in the
     world is going on down there in the U.S.? What in the world
     happened to the dandelions, violets, thistles and the stuff I
     started eons ago. I had a perfect no maintenance garden plan. Those
     plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply
     with abandon. The nectar from the long lasting blossoms attracts
     butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see
     a vast garden of color by now. All I see are patches of green."

     ST. FRANCIS said. " It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. They are
     called the Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers "weeds"
     and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass."

     GOD asks, " Grass? But it is so boring, it's not colorful. It doesn't
     attract butterflies, bees or birds, only grubs and sod worms. It's
     temperamental with temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want
     grass growing there?"

     ST. FRANCIS said, " Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it
     and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing it and
     poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn."

     GOD says, "The spring rains and the warm weather probably makes the grass
     grow really fast. That must make the suburbanites very happy.

     ST. FRANCIS answers,  " Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it has grown a
     little, they cut it---sometimes two times a week."

     GOD asks,  "They cut it? Do they bale it like hay?"

     ST. FRANCIS answers, "Not exactly Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it
     in bags."

     GOD asks, "They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?"

     ST. FRANCIS: No sir, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

     GOD said, " Now let me get this straight. They fertilize it to make it
     grow and when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?"

     ST. FRANCIS: Yes, sir.

     GOD said,  "These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut
     back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth
     and saves them a lot of work."

     ST. FRANCIS replys, "You aren't going to believe this Lord. When the grass
     stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it so
     they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it."

     GOD declares,  "What nonsense! At least they kept some of the trees. That was
     a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring
     to provide beauty and shade in summer. In the autumn they fall to the ground and
     form a natural blanket to keep the moisture in the soil and protect the trees and
     bushes. Plus as they rot, the leaves are compost to enhance the soil. It's a
     natural circle of life."

     ST. FRANCIS replys,  "You'd better sit down Lord. As soon as the leaves
     fall, the Suburbanites rake them into great piles and pay to have
     them hauled away."

     GOD responds, "No way!! What do they do to protect the shrubs and tree roots
     in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?"

     ST. FRANCIS answers,  "After throwing the leaves away they go out and buy
     something called mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in
     place of the leaves."

     GOD asks,  "And where to they get this mulch?"

     ST. FRANCIS explains,  " They cut down the trees and grind them up to make
     mulch."

     GOD says, " Enough!! I don't want to think about this anymore. St.
     Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have you
     scheduled for us tonight?

     ST. CATHERINE answered,  "Dumb and Dumber Lord. It's a real stupid movie
     about..........................

     GOD interrupts,  "Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St.
     Francis!"


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