NEWS FROM CANADA:
Meanwhile, in the wilds of Ontario, near Peterborough, the Millbrook Zucchini Festival is either in full swing or about to be, and my sister Ruth has composed a poem in its honour. (Note to Europeans: Zucchini = Very Big Tough Courgette. They escape from gardens and go off to live with wolves. There are many such mysterious things you did not know.) There will be a Zucchini Poet Laureate, I’m told. I know who I’m voting for! Eat heart out, Carol Ann.
ODE TO THE GREAT ZUCCHINI
By Ruth Atwood
Out in the wide zucchini field
the Great Zucchini had his lair.
He hunkered deep within the leaves
and people gathering the sheaves
had no idea he was there.
His girth was huge, his sides were keeled,
his skin without cosmetic care,
and every day he grew and grew
with sun (or in the night time, dew),
drawing his sustenance from terr
a firma. And in time his yield
was sort of like a smallish bear.
But fall brings frost to things that grow,
and to the Great Zucchini, woe.
For fall brings frost no matter where
to shrivel leaves that were his shield.
So suddenly they saw him there,
and gathered round with wond’ring cries.
They really couldn’t trust their eyes;
his monstrous bulk was all laid bare.
You might have thought his fate was sealed,
but his was toughness very rare.
No axe could even dent his stem,
and when the chainsaw vanquished him,
their thoughts of dinner turned to air.
They couldn’t eat him, even peeled.