God: St. Francis, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there? What happened to the Dandelions, Violets, thistle and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any kind of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of color by now. But all I see is green rectangles.

St. Francis: Its the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers weeds and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

God: Grass? But it's so boring. It's not colorful. It doesn't attract butterflies, birds and bees. Only grubs and sod worms. It's temperamental with temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?

St. Francis: Apparently so Lord. They go to great lengths to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing the grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.

St. Francis: You aren't going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it, so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

God: At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. Plus, as they rot, the leaves form compost to enhance the soil. It's a natural circle of life.

St. Francis: You'd better sit down, Lord.The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle of life. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.

God: Enough.I don't want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

St. Catherine: Dumb and Dumber, Lord. It's a real stupid movie about . . . .

God: Never mind. I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.

God: The Spring rains and warm weather probably make the grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites really happy.

St. Francis: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it. Sometimes twice a week.

God: They cut it? Do they bale it like hay?

St. Francis: Not exactly Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

God: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

St. Francis: No sir - Just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

God: Let me get this straight. They fertilize the grass to get it to grow; then they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

St. Francis: Yes, sir.

God: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

God: No. What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter and keep the soil moist and loose?

St. Francis: After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

God: And where do they get this mulch?

St. Francis: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch

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