Norvella Plotts was just putting in the last of her red, white, and blue petunias when the flying saucer made a perfect three point landing on the driveway. Being a woman of a certain age, her first thought was to wonder what she could serve her unexpected guest for dinner. She experienced a surge of relief when she remembered that she had a roast of beef and baked ham in the refrigerator. Her husband Abelard had declared both inedible. "Too dry," he'd said, after the sixth slice of ham and the eighth of beef. "Unpalatable." He'd been unable to eat more than three-quarters of either; but Norvella was sure, that with a nice gravy, they'd do for company. But when the giant asparagus jumped out of the flying saucer, she realized she'd have to change the menu. She was quite sure vegetables did not eat meat; though that would make them vegetarians and she wasn't entirely comfortable with the idea of a cannibal at the table. Still it wasn't in Norvella to judge and she welcomed the ambulatory asparagus with a wide smile.
The vegetable was in a highly agitated state; its needle-like branchlets waving wildly. Hopping toward her in a determined manner, it gurgled menacingly, "Zylpt msshr grsnk!"
Norvella was not a woman who spent a great deal of time talking with her plants as their conversation tended to be rooted in earthy matters and she had been raised better; but she was still surprised to hear herself called an "Evil barbarian assassin."
While the asparagus wove unsteadily over the lawn, its scales shivering and shoots shaking, it occurred to her that the sprout had probably imbibed too much mineral water and taken off from its own patch on impulse. A shoot on a toot was regrettable, but understandable. She would offer it a nice cup of tea and all would be well.
It was only when it dropped its scales to reveal it was armed with Zippy-Pop rayguns that she began to fear she had misread the situation.
As several shoots kept her covered with the Zippy-Pop rayguns, the rest were roughly digging up the petunias she had just spent an hour and forty-seven minutes putting in. And all the time it was crooning, "Run, my beautiful ladies, run! Be free!" The asparagus was obviously a Free-Ranger intent on making a political statement in Norvella's flower garden.
The highly cultivated petunias, patriotic as they were, were not interested in politics. Having just had their roots covered and being comfortably in bed, they were indignant about being exposed in this manner. In unison the angry flowers attacked their would-be rescuer with an impressive display of jujitsu.
Norvella saw that the asparagus would never rise again. Broken-stalked it could only burble "Blgup whhhyyy, blgup whhhhyyyy?"
Feeling some pity for its unappreciated idealism and having a craving for something different for supper, she boiled it.
"Tough," Abelard said later, right before biting into a missed Zippy-Pop raygun and blowing himself to bits.
"But," Norvella said, dipping the last piece of asparagus into the hollandaise sauce, "it had a tender heart."