Ted and his friend, Alf were working tirelessly on their allotment, weeding between the neat rows of vegetables. The sun was shining and they were both perspiring through their shirts.
“Well, I never!” exclaimed Ted holding up a large plant in this right hand.
“Not something I’ve ever seen either, where did it come from?”
“I found it growing over there under the runners. Haven’t got a clue what it is, have you?”
After discussing the unidentified plant at length, the two friends decided to go to their local library to use the reference books there. After using some water from the allotment tap to wash their hands, they set off in earnest.
On arriving at the library, Alf suggested that Ted asked the librarian where to find a suitable book.
“Why have I got to ask, you could do it yourself?”
“Oh, alright I will.” Alf set off towards the desk and spoke to the gentleman sitting behind it.
After getting the information he needed, Alf led the way to the relevant section to find the book. He took two large books over to a nearby table and both the friends sat down and started flicking through the pages.
“Just as well I bought the plant with me, its in my carrier bag.” Alf peered into his bag and studied it thoughtfully.
Several minutes passed with them chatting about leaf shape and number of stamens and so on. They couldn’t identify the strange plant.
“This is thirsty work, you know.” said Alf. “I think we should continue this down the road.”
“What a good idea!” Ted was on his feet already, putting the two books back on the shelf.
When they arrived at the pub, they ordered two pints of local ale and started telling the publican about their morning.
“Show me this plant then” said Harry polishing his glasses behind the bar.
Ted produced the specimen from the carrier bag with a flourish.
“You silly old fools” said Harry “It’s a hop plant.”
335 Words – Sandy Bryson