Horror cultus

RANGE: Wherever paper seed packs, faded to indecipherability, look down
from weathered popsicle sticks upon rows of deeply disturbed topsoil; near
window boxes enriched by alkaline pigeon droppings, roof gardens watered
by acid rain, and where elderly but energetic horticulturists minister to
necrotic carrots in stony vacant lots, there strolls the Gardengoyle.
HABITS: Summer after summer, pest and pestilences descend on the
backyard gardens of America: rabbits with the destructive abilities of warthog
troops, for example, or moldy blights that wither green and growing things
like a blast of the midsummer sun on Serengeti.
Yet spring after spring, Americans root up foul-smelling compost heaps,
break fork tines on adamantine topsoil, and wear out countless layers of
epidermis plying absurd backward hoes allegedly designed to make the work
go easier.
And it is the Gardengoyle who wickedly inspires these people to believe
that this year will at last mean success for their little garden because
whatever the Gardengoyle did to it last year is simply too horrible to occur
twice in the same patch on the same planet in the same century.
The Gardengoyle is a master of blights and a smut monger. He is adept
at the distribution of cutworms and beetles. Where the gypsy moth pitches its
tent, you may find the Gardengoyle, seeking shelter from the hail storm he
has just caused to beat sprouting produce into mouldering ratatouille.
HISTORY: The Gardengoyle hails from the region of North Africa
formerly known as the Saharan Garden, now more widely known as the
Sahara Desert. He helped out in the New World Garden at the Plymouth
Colony, where yearly crop failures made the poor Puritans so hungry that
even turkey tasted good to them. Later, the Gardengoyle took a special
interest in Oklahoma and the surrounding states, where a succession of
disastrous droughts gave the simple religious folk of the region an abiding
taste for water, which many are hard put to understand.
SPOTTER’S TIPS: The careful hoe-towing seeker of the Gardengoyle may
have some luck as he is a large, frisky green spirit resembling an ambulatory
shock of corn and is to be found most often amongst the small, withered
brownish rust-slighted vegetables in his charge.

*The Gardengoyle is an agro-vation from Omaha to Miami.


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