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Old Friends Are the Best

Jack Sharkey

Book Overview: 

Are you one of those people who save the best things for the last ... who eat all the chocolate sundae away from under the maraschino cherry? If so, you are very like the Peter W. Merrill Moonplant.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Somewhere within its fragile cortex, a tiny pulse of life beat. It was a feeble pulse, to be sure, and one that a man, unless he could observe it for a thousand years without blinking, would not be aware of. As the normal human heart beats seventy-two times a minute, so did this tiny swelling of tube contract once each hundred years; fifty tireless years of contraction, then fifty soothing years of relaxation, bringing the walls of the slender tube together, then letting them ease apart.

But it was sufficient for its life.

The pallid yellow sap was moved about inside the plant, once each hundred years, and the plasm of the silicon-protected cellular structure absorbed just the needed amount, bleeding off the waste products between the very molecules of the silicon buttresses, and patiently waiting the century out till the second helping came oozing around.

And so it lay dormant, through heat that could send a man into convulsions of agony in se. . . Read More