The Tale of the Plant with a Tail
By Rachel Israel
Rachel is a senior Auckland resident who lives in the central city. She wrote this poem to encourage children to appreciate nature in our own backyard.
Have you seen an aloe with a tail?
I doubt you’ve seen one of such grand scale.
If you visit Auckland you must see it without fail.
From a cluster of aloe on Mayoral Drive
A long tail grew into the blue sky.
Here the aloe decided to thrive,
And one night when it was dark and rainy
It decided to grow a long tail that was shiny.
When the sun shone on this tail,
The white blossoms looked quite dandy.
Now this tail was so long
It could not stand up straight.
So it curled over with its weight
It was a beautiful sight, even at night.
And it decided to stay in sight.
Ah, its winter I thought, it will soon be gone
So I visited it every day, sometimes at dawn
And even at night when there was moonlight.
Even when winter gloom set in,
The tail refused to give in
As the days grew long and light
The aloe tail was truly a sight.
The tiny white blossoms turned yellow
They were quite mellow
They too sparkled in the night.
I took photographs each time I passed
Because I knew it would not last
For the tail’s beauty was unsurpassed.
The tail smiled and said “Thank You!
I’ve grown this tail just for you”.
The birds sang in the nearby trees
Native bush swayed in the gentle breeze.
Having fun in the summer sun,
They raised their heads in glee,
It was so wonderful to see.
The yellow flowers began to fade,
And tiny baby blossoms began to be made
These blossoms soon began to sprout
So is this what it’s all about?
And still the tail stayed.
It is ten months since the aloe grew its tail
Which has stood steadfast even in a gale.
She has gone a bit pale
But her splendor is far from stale
But she continues to prevail.
I took a tiny baby shoot, and planted it in a pot
Just to see if the baby aloe would like it or not.
Now the tail is old and weary, and has lost some of its glory.
While it stands silently on the street
Its babies live on, and continue to sing its song.
I met a cousin outside the city
Who had also come to stay.
I asked her if she had a message
And she said to say “G,day”
And so my tale has ended
But the journey has been splendid
The lesson I learned from the aloe plant
Is that caring for nature is a glorious thing