The Hornworm and the Green Tomato


The hornworm had eaten the better part of the upper reaches of the tomato plant.

The green tomato was petrified. It was already late in the season and now this.

“YOU BETTER NOT EAT ME,” screamed the green tomato as the hornworm cast glances its way.

“I’m so fucking horny,” said the hornworm. Its rear horn rigid.

“I’ll BE RED IN A FEW DAYS,” negotiated/bargained/pleaded the green tomato with a faint blush.

“You’ll be red-y now,” leered the worm. It ashed a cigarette as tobacco worms did. The cherry burned.

The hornworm bit deeply. The sexual juices of the green tomato grew into flight.






“Nobody loves me,” said the fern.

The water of the pond reflected a gray sky.

“I hate this fucking job,” said the fern.

The wind blew across the cubicle of the earth.

“There’s no future,” said the fern. “No hope for a better life.”

The western fires had all died.

But they would return.

“It’s cold out here. I’m freezing to death!” said the fern.

The sun set on the ridgeline.

“Even Job was better off than me,” said the fern. Its fronds covered its face.

The fern swayed as the cold settled in from on high.

“Boy, you sure are a sensitive fella aren’t you?” asked the sedge grasses grown brown and brittle. “What kinda fern are you anyway?”

The fern’s nose cleared with the change in season.

“A sensitive fern,” said the fern.

The sedge fashioned a casket for the fern.

The first frost set in.



The Bumblebee and the Stink Bug

for Graham


The bumblebee sat exhausted on the large green leaf of a delicata squash plant overtaking the beans. The bumblebee was covered head to toe in orange pollen. It had been up since 4am. It barely slept at all.

“Fucking shit,” the bumblebee cursed. It combed the pollen to fly.

A stink bug watched from the next row of beans.

“God, I’d murder someone to be carefree,” said the bumblebee taking longer than the regulated 15 minute break.

“That’s not pollen, baby,” said the stink bug. “It’s just my sexual juices.”

Bram Riddlebarger writes, plays music, and lives in SE Ohio.

Art by Bob Schofield @anothertower

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