With a sigh he started the ritualistic spells as his hands tucked at the ground, gently pushing it away from the two potatoes. “Greetings, children of the earth, I thank you …”
“Children of the earth?”, interrupted the bigger of the two, “that is a bit much, isn’t it?”
“I like it”, said the other potato. “Dignified, elegant, but of course a klutz like you wouldn’t understand that.”
“I give you klutz”, the first one started angrily. “We are from the same plant as you well know. We are basically …”
Now it was his turn to intervene. “Guys, I am really hungry. Can I get this over with, please?”
“Sure, don’t mind us”, said the second potato whose voice had taken on an undoubtedly sarcastic tone.
“If only I could”, he thought to himself, sighing again. It had been his own stupid father who had been working night and day to finalise the translator. Once plants could commicate with people and found they were finally heard after aeons of waving leaves at people and sending impulses over the myceliar network, there was close to no stopping them. Their relief that people were actually sentient and possible to communicate with knew no bounds. They made huge demands about trapping plants indoors, monocultures and machine-based harvesting. In return they gave useful advice on how to stop forest fires, how to improve the growth of crops that were useful to humanity or how to stop soil erosion in many areas. Once all the fights had been fought in extremly intense negotiations all over the world, that plants started to take the piss. They establised a series of rituals if plants were to be taken from the ground, ripped from a vine or cut from a stem. As all of this was done by hand now anyway, it would lead to a closer connection between humanity and flora. Who got caught to harvest without speaking the ritual, could be brought before the court of leeks — the owls of the plant world (at least in Europe where he was situated). Plants did not really care about it themselves as they had no understanding of death, but found that is made people uncomfortable, which gave them great pleasure.
So, he now found himself talking to two potatoes who would not shut up. With many interruptions, snarky comments from the couple and many sounds that the translator interpreted as giggles, he finally managed the three steps of the ritual. He thanked the plants, explained that they would be nourishment for his hungry body — which he really meant as the ritual dragged on and on and his tomach started rumbling — and wished the plant family many happy returns in reward for their sacrifice.
When he had finally finished the ritual to his — and even more importantly the potatoes’ — satisfaction, he dug them out completely, broke up the stem — under screams, laughter and playful complaints that it tickled — and lifted himself up with a final sigh of relief. Then he took a deep breath and tried to steel himself for what was about to come. The potatoes did not know it yet and unbeknownst to their fate kept on giggling all the way from his little garden to his house. He insted, tried to get himself into a calm space so that he’d be able to deal with the screams as knife hit flesh and oil sizzled in the pan.