Tag Archives: plants

The Dire Fern

Dearest L_________,

I have enclosed for your consideration the cover from one of those degenerate pieces of dime literature. I recently stumbled upon a large collection of such volumes in a shop and felt moved to share one or two with you for your amusement. The pictured lady is no doubt a poet, as she appears to be a lady of some refinement. My dear friend Mr. L_____ has noted that poets have the most remarkable lips (although I must note here that when he says “remarkable” he means “a little strange” or “perhaps bizarre” or “somehow unsettling.”) This may be a too rough or unkind appraisal of the lady, but I do say that her lips are that of a poet.

What is that she is leaning upon?

Oh dear look at the time. Ta ta!

Kindest Regards,

Mr. D_____ S______

February 7, 1908

——– o ———
The reply to D.S. from L. has been lost.
——– o ———

Dearest L_________,

What a pleasure it is to hear from you. I am doubly gratified to learn that you took a moment of your time to consider my trifling missive.

I must confess that I had forgotten about that miserable fern which belonged to poor Constance. I hope that this statement will not shock you, as my affection for Constance (though please consider it always took the form of friendly affection) can only be said to have been the equal of my consternation over her fern. In short, I blame her untimely end on that dastardly pteridophyte. More properly, we may wish to refer to that plant as a vampire. It simply refused to brighten a room no matter where the poor dear placed it, and equally, no matter how much Constance tried to beautify it. That dire, black fern! To see her worry and fret over it while coughing consumptively. And after it had finally broken her heart, she relegated it to the foyer, a place of honor! I hope this does not worry you, but I really must confess my suspicions to a friend.

Perhaps that’s why I forgot all about the pedestal. I am picturing it in my mind’s eye and indeed agree with your assertion that she kept that dire fern upon it.

As for the lady, I had not considered her from this vantage. How droll! Hmmmm. I can only say that I would find her a bit intimidating.


Mr. D_____ S______

March 14, 1908