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#157 :: Cholla skeleton

July 16, 2004

Brush a cholla and know pain. Brittle spines coat this wild cactus, eager to show their defensive might. They fairly jump into your skin – hair-fine, needle-sharp and barbed, a reminder that you’re just dumb meat endowed with an exquisitely sensitive nervous system and all the reflexes of a rock. OoopsOWWWW! When dead and defoliated, sun-bleached and nettle-free, they look more foreboding than the fuzzy-bear picture of cuteness they portray in life – bones of an alien, or a breed of coral yet undiscovered. This piece – a pencil’s length and twice the girth – is light and hollow and pleasant to the touch.

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