Friday, February 11, 2011

Live Danger in a Dead Place.

Several months ago I got attacked by ...a plant. It happened while I was on my way out of the cemetery. My skirt touched a shrub near one of the graves and all of a sudden its fruit opened up sending tens of needles into the lower part of my body. I won't go into details; I'll just say that it was pure Hell.

I know, of course, about the existence of plants whose exterior is covered by thorns or needles, but this was something else. No warning whatsoever of the concealed weapon. I was so shocked and in pain that I wasn't able to even take a decent look at the shrub. A month later I came back to the 'scene of crime' to search for it and take a picture so that I could start some inquiries, but I wasn't successful. I couldn't remember the exact place and shape of the 'villain'.

I'm not familiar with the regulations and restrictions, if any, regarding plants in a cemetery. I think in this particular cemetery there's usually no soil for planting near the headstones, so people bring all kinds of trees/shrubs/flowers, in pots of various shapes and sizes, and place them near the gravestone of their beloved trying to make beautiful the resting place of the dead and pleasurable the visits of the living.

I kept quiet about the incident. I felt it was a kind of punishment from Above for choosing the short way among the graves and thus disturbing the peace of the dead, instead of taking the normal path. I don't know why I haven't used the paved path. Probably, it's the nasty child in me, that resides in everyone, making us , at times, behave badly and do stupid things.

I should have complained to the manager of the cemetery about the shrub, demanding an explanation of their policy as to the sort of plants allowed in the cemetery, but I didn't. I guess I was still uncomfortable with my behaviour, and I was too glad that no lasting harm was done to me.


  1. Wow! That sounds like something from a science fiction movie. Scary. I think you should still complain.

  2. I guess we mostly go to really old cemeteries & feel fine wondering around them (in fact, there aren't usually paths so you HAVE to meander through the graves). I like it because I feel like I'm communing with these strangers in a way that sticking to a path doesn't allow. So, next time tell them THAT & then complain about the plant! Yikes

  3. Something like that plant did atack one of my friend. it was worse, he went to the hospital. Be carefully next time, and you better complain to the manager of the cemetery.Hope everything is good now.

  4. I say leave it, as a reminder that the line between plant and animal is no more clearly drawn than that which divides the present from the past, or the living from the dead.

  5. I'm so thankful there wasn't a small child with you. That is probably the only reason I would mention it to management. Maybe they could at least tell you what it is. Glad you weren't severely hurt.

  6. I am glad you are okay now! I too would have taken the path you did most likely! I like to walk and look and names and dates. But try, like you to not disturb the dead.

  7. I think you should never lose or be ashamed of the small child in you...that's what makes you and your blog so interesting!

    Hmmmm I wonder if a loved one put it there on purpose to ward off people from that particular grave?

    Prayers are with you Duta and Israel as we watch what's going on in Egypt! Have a wonderful weekend!

  8. Now bein' a plant person I'm quite curious to what the thing is!!! I'm so glad you recovered but I fear what would happen if a small child touched the plant. I Googled a bit but didn't come up with anything that satisfied me.

    I too would of taken the path less traveled, it's just the way I fly.

    Ya'll have a wonderfully blessed weekend sweet Duta! :o)

  9. Hello Duta
    So nice to be at your blog again.
    It's been a long time for me!

    It must have been a very painful experience that you went through from that plant and I'm glad to know that no lasting harm was done to you.

    Be well!

    Margie :)

  10. I'm glad you're okay, now DUTA. I've never heard of such a thing, but I'm sorry to hear it hurt so badly. I couldn't help but laugh, though, at your second to the last paragraph (I loved it)! Your experiences are always something I look forward to (please be careful, though).

  11. I too am like you sometimes the kid in me does beat to a different drum. But that makes life interesting and sometimes hurtful. I am glad you are ok. That is kinda scary, it would be really bad if a child was to get to close to it. Thanks for sharing your story. You have been in my prayers as we watch what is going on in Egypt. Stay safe!
    until next time... nel

  12. Duta,

    I believe that left to our own demise, most of us would take the path less traveled...having said that, I am so relieved that this plant was not one of the poisonous varieties. So many times lovely things in Nature tend to be devious culprits luring lifeforms to their demise. As for the reporting, I probably would have chosen to overlook it as well since the family of the deceased was probably only trying to honor their loved one...wouldn't it be interesting if that were not the case? Perhaps they knew the plant was a hidden danger and perhaps their departed loved one was not so "nice" but was a Holy terror and this was their way of paying homage! Okay, I know, my imagination just takes off on its own sometimes and I'm sorry for that. Glad you are recovered and please don't let this stop you from taking a more adventuresome path in the future.

  13. OOPS! I meant "design" not "demise" in the first sentence...sorry about that!

  14. Janie B,

    Science fiction indeed. I couldn't believe what was happening to me; it was so sudden and unexpected!

    The Bug,

    I totally agree with you on the difference between old cemeteries and modern ones.

    Lumi Ro,

    Thank God, I didn't have to go to the hospital. I managed on my own to get rid of the many needles and disinfect the place with a lotion.


    You say it beautifully! So, I'll take your advice and leave it for now.


    I doubt it wether the management have any idea about the identity of the 'attacking' shrub. These are usually religious people whose knowledge is limited to religious issues.
    As for children, it's a rarity to see small children at the cemetery.

  15. Kalynn ("Mimi"),

    Thank you for your kind words. It makes me feel good to know you would have taken the same path.

    Lisa Petrarca,

    You know, I had the same thought as you, namely, that particular shrub was put there on purpose by the family of the deceased.

    Thanks for your concern and prayers!


    Naturally, I'm as curious as you are about the plant with the needles. I've also tried Google, but no luck so far.


    Good to hear from you! I miss your lovely poems.
    Yes, it was a painful experience , and thank God I'm OK.


    If it hadn't been so painful, I would have laughed myself (the left part of my darling bottom was full with needles). It was incredible what a fruit could do to a person!

  16. Nel,

    "... beat to a different drum" - I like the expression.
    It was a scarry experience; I'll admit to that.
    Thanks for your prayers. We need them.

    C Hummel Kornell a/k/a C Hummel Wilson,

    Luckily, the plant was probably not poisonous. Looking back, I was busy thinking of a way to get rid of the needles in my flesh, and didn't think about poison at all.
    I share your feeling that the family knew it was not a regular plant.

  17. dear Duta, that's scary! I've never heard of a plant like that. That was a very unique experience. I'm glad you are fine. As I was reading I was thinking about googling it, but I'm glad I read Nezzy's comment. I am now more curious than ever!

    Happy Valentine's!

  18. Intersting wee adventure in the land of the dead, would be a great caption if this comes out as a news report. I was quite intrigued to read this, DUTA. Maybe it was an insect eating plant and the stimulus of your skirt might have prompted the plant to think that it was an insect which should be caught and digested. Utricularia is one such carnivorous plant but I am not sure.

    The last picture in your post is quite interesting. It seems that the plant is almost growing out of the tombstone.

    Still intrigues and wondering,

  19. Well, I really don't understand what plant is this.
    I think your experience was horrible not because of that plant, but because it happened in a cemetery.

  20. Hold my hand: a social worker's blog,

    Unique, indeed. It's constantly on my mind. I won't have peace of mind until I find out about this plant.
    Happy Valentine to you too, Doris!

    Susan Deborah,

    I wish I knew what it was; it completely faded out of my memory. I I cannot describe it to a botanist, he won't be able to help me as there are lots of harmful plants out there, I suppose.


    True. A happening like this in a cemetery, a place where you come with a heart full of sadness to weep and pray - is a hard blow.

  21. We have strange little plants here in Alabama that look so unassuming but when you walk by too closely, you get hundreds of little pitchfork looking stickers on your clothes that are a pain to remove.

  22. oh Duta...that's awful. When I was in Israel there was a plant that grew fruit but to pull it off you got stung by all these prickly things so I have some small idea of what it must have felt like. Hugs to you.

  23. Life 101,

    If you know their names by any chance, I'll appreciate your letting me know about it. Thanks.


    I know what you mean - the sabra fruit, thorny outside, sweet inside. Nowadays, they grow sabras without thorns in greenhouses. Anyway, these are delicious fruit. I'm mad about them.

  24. Well, I would raise some hell with the cemerty Care taker. What if a child was running by and Blinded by that stupid plant. That is some story,
    put it in the news paper.
    Ta Ta for now the old crank. LOL


  25. La Petite Gallery,

    I admit I've behaved selfishly by not filing a complaint of some sort. Other people could also have gotten hurt.

  26. Oh Poor DUTA. I know just how you feel. When my little sister was little, probably around 5 or 6 we were at some boat races along the Colorado River in Parker Arizona and it's mostly desert area and she walked near a plant that had something that jumped at her or threw a bunch of cactus spikes at her skinny little leg. She couldn't move it hurt so bad. I remember her skinny little leg just shaking while I ran to get our dad. He had to remove them one by one while she tried not to cry. It was awful. Hope that never happens to either one of you again!

  27. Hi DUTA,

    I just wanted to let you know that your GREAT comment on Susan Debora's blog, about "blog following", has leaded me to your site.
    I totally agree with you on that topic.

    I just had to pop over to your blog and say so.

    Have a great day!

  28. Duta
    I do not think it was "a kind of punishment" for your short cuts but someone with a mean spirit put it there.
    Who declared you should not walk across a grave? I often stand on my parents grave and it make me feel closer to them but not disrespectful. Just think how many would not have any visitor at all unless we stroll across their graves with the tapping of our feet to say "Hello."

  29. On his first visit to the desert with me, just outside of Phoenix, Arizona my John was "attacked" by a Jumping Cholla -which looks soft and fuzzy (and is nicknamed Teddy Bear Cactus) but is actually a plant to keep your distance from!Simply walking past it can cause it to release its stinging little needles!

  30. Alicia,

    The story of your little sister seems familiar; something like that happened to me, and it was indeed awful.

    Betty Manouses,@ CUT AND DRY,

    You've made my day, Betty. I'm glad you agree with my view on the topic of Susan Deborah's post.

    Lady Di TN,

    Thank you for your kind words. I think you're right about our strolling; it's sort of saying " Hello" from the outer world.


    I suppose all these plants that release needles belong to the cactus family. I'll look up the name Cholla - maybe it is this sort of plant that "attacked" me too. Thanks for the info.

  31. Hi Duta, sorry I have been "away" from blogging for a bit but am hoping to catch up with all my favorite blogs slowly but surely. I would have reacted as you did to the plant. I am the type who would have thought as you did, perhaps a form of punishment for taking a short-cut. However I think I would nicely mention it to the cemetary office as someone else could be injured the same way you were, especially a small child who might be poked in the face or eye.

  32. Cheryl,

    Welcome! It's good to hear from you.
    Well, great minds think alike...
    You're right suggesting that I mention the incident to the cemetary office. I'll have to have a word with them.

  33. Hi Duta,
    I'm curious, too, what the plant was. I have never heard of such a thing before! I probably would have left without saying anything, also...

  34. Dimple,

    It's always on my mind to find out what plant it was. It probably belongs to the cactus family, although the needles were inside and nt on the outer part of the bulb or fruit.

  35. Looks like a dangerous specimen in the desert.
    Glad you are alright..

  36. Regina,

    Yes, dangerous indeed. It shouldn"t be in a public place. Thank you.