For plants, Dandelions are pretty well developed. They have three basic survival mechanisms:
1. A very long, thick and penetrating central tap root (children, please!) which, if left in the ground after the plant is apparently pulled out, will simply grow a replacement. Bigger, better, and more resilient than before. And it will hate you.
2. Pretty yellow flowers which turn into adorable fluffy seed balls. Such seed balls have proven irresistible to juvenile (and not so juvenile) members of the human species, who delight in blowing them to the winds in the hope that a wish might be granted. Note: Unless your wish is for many, many more fluffy magic wish balls, this is a lie.
3. Very fine, silk-like hairs growing over the surface area of each broad green leaf. Note: “silk-like” is not the same as “silk”. After attempting to pull out the dandelions, these hairs often result in itching, irritation and, should one be caught beneath a fingernail or slid into the skin, festering wounds. Yes, not so much like hair, really. More like whisper-thin thorns. Evil dandelion spines of infection and possible death.
In addition to these native traits, Dandelions also tend to cultivate an alliance with the surrounding grass in which they grow. Grass is stupid. It believes whatever floricidal words the Dandelion tells it and obligingly wraps itself around the leaves and roots of long-standing specimens, adding its own weight to the strength of the Dandelion’s own root system. Apparently grass has failed to notice that the Dandelion’s sole aim is the absolute takeover of all available lawn space which will, naturally, result in the eventual extermination of all other plant life. Grass is really, really stupid.
Fortunately, Dandelions haven’t yet developed the ability to make and use tools.
Human beings have.
In particular, the two pronged, lever-equipped, digging and extraction tool required to reach down into the soil to target a Dandelion’s root base and forcibly remove the plant entire and screaming from the ground. Okay, maybe not screaming. But it’s fun to imagine.
So that was my afternoon. Two buckets of Dandelions later and the backyard is still only half done. There is still the bottom half down near the BBQ area where the really huge mutant plants have all but taken over. I think they were muttering among themselves as they watched the eviction of their brothers in leaf. Bastards, their turn will come tomorrow.
Providing they haven’t developed opposable thumbs by then …