Never speak ill of the elder

Todays quotation is from Honey-Dew by Louise Doughty.

I have a gardener’s suspicion of elders. They aren´t trees at all really, just big weeds. The seedlings sprout the minute they hit the soil. Their roots spread deep beneath the ground. They will take over, if you let them.

There were two of them at the back of my garden when I bought the cottage. I had to get some blokes in to deal with them. There is a superstition that you never speak ill of an elder in its presence. ‘So,’ the head bloke said to me quietly, regarding the bigger of the two. ‘Shall we attend to this one first?’ I nodded.  ‘Attend’ meant chop down and poison the stump, but neither of us was going to say it out loud.

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Filed under Louise Doughty, Quotations, quotes

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