Once upon a time in an obscure, European principality,
there reigned sterling, silver-haired King Kudzu,
who, due to his massive growth,
crowded out all the kingdom’s flora.

He had 12 beautiful daughters:
Pansy & Tansy,
who were a bit prissy,
whose smell no one could match,
Poppy & Posey,
who were interchangeable,
who was one letter short of violent,
Ivy & Iris,
who liked to climb walls & change colours,
whose petals often got plucked by lovestruck youngsters,
Lily & Lotus,
who didn’t do much,
& Belladonna,
who felt above it all,
being four syllables tall.

They all had hair of copper or gold,
their skin bronzed by the sun from the courtyard
that was their only contact with the natural world.

As King Kudzu grew,
he raised his motherless daughters in the castle,
grooming them—
in their solitary confinement & disciplinary refinement—
to become nuns in the local convent.

But then Father Jackson Fitzpatrick Kennedy—
a handsome devil of a weed—
came & came often,
fertilizing the King’s diverse garden.
His potent seed,
stored up for so long,
caused each bloom to produce after her own kind;
for King Kudzu had assumed that the birds & bees speech
would’ve been common knowledge among his daughters,
they being plants.

The King,
enraged at the mass-pollination,
tossed the Father into the cathedral dungeon,
defrocked & denatured,
while his daughters each bore a son,
each son becoming a father
of one of the Twelve Tribes of a New Israel,
where they lived so-so happily ever after—
these sons of single motherhood.

Moral of the story: Children are better off with both parents, in case one of them is crazy.