In the beginning of time God made the tobacco plant, the tomato plant and the horned worm. (Read Tobakkuk: 55:15-20)
The tobacco plant said, “I can give you great energy, but alas, you will lay down in rest and not worry about anything.”
The tomato plant said, “I can give you a wonderful tomato and a whole wheat sandwich to nurture your body and soul. You will have culinary peace.”
But alas, the horned worm, the evil of all good eating said, “Give me tomatoes or give me death.”
And so God said, “Very well then horned worm, you can choose. Restful death or nutrition.”
So the horned worm said, “Let me have both, but let me start with the tobacco so that I may eat the tobacco and have my tomato, too.”
And God thought, “Is this the beginning of gluttony, and bad habits? I think I will call this a ‘sin’. But go ahead horney worm. Your choice.”
So the Horned worm, began with the tobacco and grew anxious with excitement. But before he could make it to the tomato, he died of lethargy. And thus, to this day the tobacco plant is the protector of the tomato plant and subsequently gives a little kick and relaxation, too.
As with all my stories and musings, this one is true, well mostly true and possible. I posted this on FaceBook after my friend and neighbor farmer Denise, who was aware of my two tobacco plants growing in pots on the back deck, wanted to know where I got tobacco seeds. Her tomato plants had many insects eating the plants and their fruit. Doing research on plant pairings she discovered tobacco could be a good pairing. It is called a trap plant. The pairing was not intentional for me. I was growing tobacco to relearn the curing process, along with tomatoes in a raised bed garden.
As a young teenager, I spent a summer cropping tobacco on my Grandfather’s farm. It was hot and hard work. Yet, Amerindians have grown, cured and used tobacco in rituals for centuries. Knowing the history of the cabin, and doing research for another writing project, I wanted to learn more. By the way, there is no Tobakkuk: 55:15-20. I have seen no horned worms this year and both tobacco and tomato plants are doing well.
The rest of the story….
And God saw that some horned worms made it to the tomato plant and ate thereof, weakening the plant and destroying the fruit. So God sent braconid wasps to lay their white cocoons on the body of the horned worms. And the cocoons pupated and killed the horned worms. The Lord be praised!
Thanks Cousin Carol! This is great. I did read about the white cocoons, but it takes a farmer to know all this by experience, I am sure. And you extended the parable.