When the man threw away
his favorite strawberry plant
at the edge of the pond stop
he didn’t think if it would grow
or what the turtles would think if it did.
What is that shade?
Look how it plumps up
in the morning sun!
I wonder what purpose it serves.
Do you think they eat them?
Do you think we could eat them?
So they asked King Turtle,
who had traveled far
and seen many wonders.
But this wonder King Turtle
had not seen before,
so he asked the carp
who asked the cicadas
who asked the birds
who flew high above until
they found a teeming garden
and along the edge grew
a small green plant with the red fruit
the cicadas asked about
on behalf of the carp
who asked on behalf of the turtles,
and the birds saw
the fruit was edible
and so they told the cicadas
who told the carp
who told the turtles
who decided not to eat the fruit
but let the plant grow for a year
so that next year there was enough
for all turtles and the following year
enough for all the carp and the next
enough for all the cicadas and so on
until there was simply enough,
and then one day the man returned
and saw the plant had grown wild and lush
and he wondered why it never bore fruit
but thought nothing of the matter
and went about his uneventful day
without so much as a second thought.