Flora and fauna sisters

Flora and fauna sisters

"The elder of the two sisters had majored in botany and the younger one in zoology," said the lady, proffering glossy colour prints of the girls. Her son eyed the mug shots with pseudo indifference.

"Now, let us analyse the two. The zoology girl has a penchant for pets. Only quadrupeds that wag their tails vigorously. But would you like to take a fawn coated German Shepherd on a tight leash every morning for its bladder-cum-bowel evacuating ritual, with a pooper scooper in readiness?"

"Sonny, I bet you won't fancy that scenario. And, the cats. The girl likes cats in droves. Next may be rabbits that would rapidly multiply. Or ant-eaters, or God knows even alligators! She can't have a wink without a feline specimen curled up like a bundle of wool near her pillow. And I know you do hate cats and the girls who go gaga over them."

"Yes, Ma. I'm not a Ro-meow!"

"No puerile jokes, please. Especially your weak puns. This is a serious matter involving your marital life. Understand? What was I telling? Yes, the cats and the dogs. This girl with a congregation of dumb chums would want her hubby to turn into one. Would you like to wag your tail and whine in ecstasy in your wife's presence?"

"Like daddy you mean?"

"What? What did you say? Speak out. Nothing? Are you sure? I think I heard something. So, this zoology girl is happily out. Which leaves the field open for the botany votary. Here is a good girl who loves plants, trees, bushes and creepers. None of them will mew, raising their tail like an antenna and brush against your shin. Nor lick your nose, earlobes, Adam's apple and such, as if giving you a thorough saliva-wash. She loves trees that house the birds and the bees."

"Ma! Admittedly an advantage if she knows about the birds and the bees."

"Stop that, will you? No sleazy remarks or risqu jokes, please. This girl will bring sunshine, breeze flowers and fragrance. Pots of dahlias, fuchsias, vases of redolent roses, marigolds, chrysanthemums - all a riot of colours - will welcome you."

"I can visualise that, Ma. But beware! There will be a special pot of sansevieria, also in readiness to welcome you. When I say you, I mean YOU!"

"Sansevieria? That is a new one on me. What in the world is that? And why that emphasis on the word 'you'?

"Oh, come on, Ma. Don't you know? It is a house plant with thick, long, lance-shaped leaves."

"Never heard of that before. But there should be a popular name to it."

"There is. People call it the 'Mother-in-law's Tongue'! Will you still be interested in having the botanist as your daughter-in-law?"

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