Gustavo picked up his first pepper plant on the side of the road. It had been discarded there – whether out of frustration, inundation, or accident, or simply a good samaritan leaving plants for others to toy with, he couldn’t say. But the little plant in a black plastic dish was his now, and he took it home like a lost puppy from a cardboard box.
The pepper plant was not prepared for the winter that soon came, but Gustavo worked hard to keep it alive. He wrapped the plastic holder with burlap, placed the plant by the heater, and even bought a UV lamp to make sure it got the light it needed.
The plant grew as much as it could, and Gustavo bought a larger pot and more soil. He transplanted it in early February, and by April it had five peppers on it. Large, long peppers, of a kind Gustavo didn’t know.
Gustavo plucked the peppers when they were ripe, and not long after, his pepper plant passed away. He ate the fruits of his little friend, saving the seeds in a little dish. He planted some of the seeds in the old pepper plants’ soil, and soon he had three little shoots to tend. He put more soil in the original black container, planting more seeds. A few days later, he purchased several large containers, and soon Gustavo had a pepper grow-op.
As each plant matured, and Gustavo dined on the results, his seed supply grew, and his operation expanded. He framed a picture of the first plant, affectionately named it “Planty”, and put it on the wall above his growing hot house, formerly his living room.
Every morning, Gustavo looked with beatific pride on his children, ever-growing, ever-dying, ever-reborn.