Inspecting each packet at the vegetable seed stand carefully, broad beans immediately caught my eye. Not having a clue what I was about to grow didn’t matter much to me for as long as it came out of my garden I was happy. Strangely, the plants weren’t like the ordinary bean ones, i.e. needing poles and stood proudly on their own without the need for assistance of any kind. They flowered, and then the beans came. Since I have more ants in our garden than I would dare to imagine I came across something unexpected. One day when I looked a bit closer at the plants, I noted black patches at the top. Tiny black little bugs sat fixed to the stem and flowers. This was the first time I came across these little, disgusting plant lice; blackfly. The ants protect the blackfly, while the blackfly produce honeydew which the ants eat. It’s a match made in heaven for the two species and the pests from hell for me. The blackfly sucked every last drop of life from my beautiful green soldiers until they resembled the poor unfortunate souls captured by Ursula, the Sea Witch, in The Little Mermaid.
(No, I haven’t watched the movie with Gabriel for like 10 000 times already. Oh dear, I’m not fooling anyone, am I?) I salvaged one meal’s worth of beans before they bit the dust and they tasted divine simply boiled. Year after year I keep trying to grow broad beans and every single time the ants/blackfly get to them! It leaves me feeling quite depressed…
For a long time I stood in the shop staring at the fresh broad beans boxed in big cases. It really peeves me to buy something at the shops when I know it can grow perfectly well in my backyard. Those damn ants! Bloody blackfly! The old lady shuffled away quicker than I thought she could, trying to get away from the nutcase who mutters to herself. Ah well, I couldn’t resist any longer. I had to have broad beans. It was as simple as that.
P.S. Each bean was shelled lovingly before meeting its gory end.