“The Retreat” / A Memorable Fancy #331

Harry attended yet another management retreat because he couldn’t get out of going. At the retreat, a motivational speaker led an exercise on “What kind of plant would you be if you were a plant?” The company joker said “cactus.” Most said safe things like “pine tree” or “ivy.” But Harry couldn’t get the question out of his mind. It bugged him; he obsessed.

Gradually, he felt more and more like a plant. What kind? The tension was getting to him, waiting to find out what kind of plant he would become. Could it be a sequoia (wouldn’t that be grand!) or perhaps a cabbage? Well, cabbages were useful plants. Gradually, foliage appeared on him. But the leaves were from a plant like nothing the world had ever seen. A grotesque, misshapen plant that smelled like rotten flesh. He was hospitalized. After months of therapy, drugs, and psychiatric counseling, he was released.

Harry went back to work, where he was welcomed warmly. Eventually, he was sent on another management retreat. “What kind of rodent would you be …” began the motivational speaker.



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