Once upon a time there was a very pretty wisteria vine. It was May and things were fine and fragrant and there was nothing to fear.
By July the purple petals had fallen onto the patio and were swept away by the people who lived there. The vine had grown leafy and become a shady place under which the people sipped chardonnay and nibbled sandwiches all summer long.
Then came October with its spooky witchy ways and blustery habits, dislodging the leaves of the lovelyy wisteria, turning it into something resembling a launch pad of ten thousand alien pods, each of which threatened to disengage the eyes of innocent stargazers.
All winter the people watched the pods dangle menacingly outside their window, fearing for their noggins every time they stepped through their door.
How will we ever remove those ten thousand pods from our wonderufl vine?? they wondered as they gazed at starry solstice skies through swimming goggles.
Then one day in March a great snapping and cracking filled the air. Tiny round missiles hurled themselves at the windows and Jake the Cat meowed something that sounded like: wtf? as he took refuge under the kitchen table.
No, wait. That was me.
The cacophony of cracking continued for a couple of days. And while the sound initially unsettled the people something wicked, they soon realized—around hour 42—what was happening. The pods, it seems, dry into sticks over winter, then twist open—that was the cracking—each releasing four or five penny-sized seeds. That was the pinging against the window.
As soon as it dawned on them that the world was not, in fact, ending, the people relaxed, poured some pinot and began to enjoy the show.
Of course, by then it was almost over.