All she ever thinks about are house-plants.
She talks to them and tends them every day.
And she says, 'Don't hurt their feelings. Give them
Love. In all your dealings with them,
Treat them in a tender, human way.'
'Certainly, my dear,' he says. 'OK.
But the house-plants do not seem to want to play.
They are stooping, they are drooping,
They are kneeling in their clay;
They are flaking, they are moulting,
Turning yellow, turning grey,
And they look . . . . . well, quite revolting
As they sigh and fade away.
So after she has left the house he gets them
And he sets them in a line against the wall.
And I cannot say he cossets them or pets them -
No, he doesn't sympathise with them at all.
Is he tender? Is he human? Not a bit.
No, to each of them in turn he says: 'You twit!'
Rotten little skiver,
Cost a fiver,
Earn your keep!
Dirty little drop-out!
You're a cop-out!
You're a creep!
Mangy little whinger!
You're a cringer!
Son, it's true -
I have justbin
to the dustbin
Where there's better men than you!
Get that stem back!
Pull your weight!
Stick your leaves out!
STAND UP STRAIGHT!
And, strange to say, the plants cooperate.
So when she comes back home and finds them glowing,
Green and healthy, everyone a king,
She says, 'It's tenderness that gets them growing!
How strange the change a little love can bring!
'Oh yes,' he says. 'Not half. Right. Love's the thing.'