Twas Brillig

Today started gray and ominous but by the time we’d finished lunch, the sky started to clear. We figured that was a sign: Time for a visit to the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. It’s pretty well hidden a few miles off Route 19 north of Hilo, so when we finally found it, we gave a whoop of joy.

At the bottom of the long and steeply sloping boardwalk that leads into the heart of the garden, there was a gardener who reminded me of both the Mad Hatter and Dustin Hoffman. Mad Dustin directed our attention to the orchids that were blooming above this sign. “Smell me,” it said. Obedient as a schoolgirl, I smelled, and my nose filled with the scent of warm orange cupcakes just out of the oven.

Curious but delightful.

We followed the paths as they wound past wonders big and small, oohing and aahing as appropriate. We saw no White Rabbit nor Cheshire Cat, but one little mongoose skittered along a handrail and out of sight before I could point my camera at him. Perhaps he found a rabbit hole of his own.

Just before we girded our loins for the trek back up the boardwalk, we came across a curious sign.

Note that the sign says ‘Beware of falling fruit’, not ‘Watch out for falling fruit’. Just what sort of hi-jinx is this fruit getting up to that calls for such vigilance? Does that mustachioed papaya lurking in the shadows mean me harm? Is the man in the trench coat actually an avocado in disguise? I am wary of fruit sold by the Philippine mafia, and hothouse strawberries always bear closer scrutiny, but surely your average pineapple or mango is fairly harmless. And who could ever suspect a banana of foul play?

Curiouser and curiouser.

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