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The Vine

The Tomato Nation advice column addresses your questions on etiquette, grammar, romance, and pet misbehavior. Ask The Readers about books or fashion today!

Home » The Vine

The Vine: Ask The Readers Book-a-thon #3

Submitted by on March 3, 2010 – 10:55 AM4 Comments

Hi, Sars —

I’m looking for a short story, narrated by a guy who I think has a connection with the federal government (i.e., he’s a BIA rep or something like that) who’s been sent to negotiate with a Native American community. There’s a dispute between the Native Americans and the feds about XX, and the Native Americans point out they’ve got a treaty with the US that says they can do XX “for as long as the sun shall rise and the grass shall grow.” The narrator says too bad, but the federal government says they can no longer do XX, despite what the treaty says.

As the narrator is preparing to go to bed, he hears the community chanting in the distance. He wakes to silence, and wonders why it’s still dark when his watch says it’s morning. He opens his door to find that — yes — the sun has failed to rise, and all of the grass has withered and died overnight.

It’s an elegant bit of revenge…and I’d love to read the story again. I’m sure it was written before the mid-1980s, which may be why I’ve had no luck finding it via Google — or maybe that’s because it was a short story in an anthology. Any assistance from you or your readers would be appreciated!

Revenge is a dish best served with Bollinger Grande Annee champagne




  • Miss Twitch says:

    I think it’s Avram Davidson’s “And the Grasses Grow,” which was in a humorous fantasy anthology called Smart Dragons, Foolish Elves in the 1990s. Amazon has a listing for that book, but it’s out of print. I suppose it might be in other anthologies too, however.

  • Miss Twitch says:

    Sorry, that’s “Or the Grasses Grow.” Apparently I got off on the wrong side of Conjunction Junction!

  • TashiAnn says:

    This sounded really interesting and I found the story online in a couple of places. The easiest one to read is at the link below.

    I am attempting the tiny url for the first time. If it doesn’t work google the title and the authors name together and it will come up.

  • Revenge is a dish... says:

    Yes! That’s it!!! Thanks so much for finding this for me!

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