Interlude - six of five thousand blades of grass

I can see approximately five thousand blades of grass from my window. The first is about six centimetres long, tapered end, bending slightly to the left, about the same angle as a man who's walked six miles through a shopping centre with his wife, following her from shop to shop as she tries to find the perfect pair of shoes, and has just stopped to take the wait off his right foot. It's a sort of darkish green, approximately Pantone 355 EC.

The second is slightly shorter. I think it comes from the same root. It's roughly the same colour, but a bit more yellowy.

Number 3: It's considerably longer, maybe two centimetres which doesn't sound like much but it's a lot when you're that small. I'd say that the colour was more of a yellow, something like the shade of a jaundiced cauliflower.

It's difficult to talk about the fourth. It's hiding behind its brothers. Or sisters, I'm not sure how one sexes a blade of grass. The French would know. Either way, it's coy. It's just peeking out a little to one side. It's got a jagged tip, like Bart Simpson's haircut. What sort of creature does that? It's yellowish again, like the third one. Not much more to say about it.

The fifth! The glorious fifth! What a leaf! What it lacks in symmetry and grace couldn't be measured by the most delicate of man's artistic instruments! A prince among leaves (or princess, see above), a master (or, again, mistress) of the leafly arts! The rabbit has not been born yet that could do justice to this leaf. [Editor's note: this paragraph left unedited as it was written before our dear translator provided the answer to the humble author's questions regarding the sexing of grasses. This will be amended in the second edition.]

The sixth blade of grass bends her head in modesty. Can plants search out the truth in human speech as our heir-apparent, the quondam Charlie Chester, maintains? If so, she must feel the awful weight of the task upon her - to follow the leaf that went before, that fifth leaf whose photo graces the walls of so many a teenage leaf-fanatic. What a terrible place to be! If only, she no doubt wishes, she had grown a little to the right. Perhaps 2 to 3 millimetres. Then she could have escaped such a withering comparison. But she can take solace in the face that no leaf in the garden could have stood tall in the shade of the fifth. There is no odium attached to failing to such a one. The sixth leaf takes her place proudly, understanding that in a hierarchy some must, of course, be consigned to the lower steps (or steppes, indeed). Also she is a sort of pale green, like the colour of a pistachio nut that has been left in a white bowl.

(to be continued... or probably not).


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