These puffs of red will explode into white pretty soon. And they will emit an astonishing aroma, profound and lusty. Not unpleasant, really. But not at all nice, either. And it will fill the air around the shrub. And from then on we shall refer to it as “The Smelly Bush.”

But if you want to know the truth, it is so much fun to call it The Smelly Bush, that we will actually call it that long after it has lost its bouquet.

And in winter, when its leaves have fallen and the puffs are still there but they are small and dry and brittle, not so much puffs as remnants of puffs, and there is nothing else but the thin skeleton branches, and the crisp, nothing smell of frigidity, we might say something like, “Look over there by The Smelly Bush,” and we will smile and we will know what we mean, because we will have smelled that unforgiving scent in spring, and it will linger with us always.

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