My first plant was a cactus from Woolworths. Not hard to come by growing up in the desert. I have underwatered nearly everything since. As repentance, I adopted a bonsai and am learning to discern the small voice of its thirst. I love cactus for their self-sufficiency, the way they don't ask for more than they're given, and never lead you into trick questions like, "do these thorns make me look fat?"
In my time spent in southern Italy, I remember on one occasion a bus driver stopping, early one morning, to pick some cactus pears from some cacti growing wild on the side of the road. It was hard to believe that such delicious fruit grew in the wild. (Of course many also cultivated them in their gardens.)
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