Despite his name, Brutus is a man of gentility and taste. And he is a gardener. He longs to be a horticulturist, but that will take time. Fortunately, he has a mentor, the champion of the flower show, Julian Sims.
Brutus admires Julian and learns from him. Someday, Brutus hopes to earn honors, maybe 3rd place in some obscure category in the competitions. Of course, he can’t hope to match Julian’s dozens of first place blue ribbons, but this isn’t a problem because Brutus is neither jealous nor ambitious.
Even without ambition, Brutus is widely recognized as an honorable and talented man. He doesn’t get demerits merely because he lacks a green thumb.
Still, Brutus is learning. His newest entry, an ikebana characterized by calla lilies and wild grasses came in 4th, just missing a ribbon. He was pleased that he came close.
Brutus. Edit acted as he took a walk across the floor of the flower show, enjoying the varied and imaginative displays.
He saw many blue ribbons, mostly honors bestowed on Julian Sims. He admired Julian’s accomplishments but got to thinking: is Julian becoming perhaps too close to the judges? Does Julian’s great reputation give him an unfair advantage? Is there bias in the system?
Or perhaps it’s even worse. Thinking about the growing list of honors, Brutus dared to ask himself: Is Julian bribing the judges?
This could not be good, to think these negative thoughts about his friend and mentor. Still, Brutus does notice a change in his friend of late. Julius used to smile and dismiss the awards he accumulated, saying it was the work itself that interested him. Now, he seems to relish the awards and crave more.
Where would this end. Could a man of such noble character as Julian Sims be corrupted by his ambition and growing success? Would he lies his good nature and easy smile, perhaps becoming suspicious, conniving and—dare one even think it?—evil?
No. This must not be allowed to happen. At that moment, Brutus set his eyes on a cactus, an exceedingly tiny but perfect cactus, in a piece of hollowed rock. It had a blue ribbon next to it bearing the name: Julian Sims.
Brutus could bear it no longer. For the good of the flower show, for the god of the horticulture society, for the loveliness of flora itself, Brutus felt compelled to act.
Grabbing a nearby pair of pruning shears, he plunged the blade repeatedly into the tiny plant. Penetrating 33 times, the tiny plant fell to the ground oozing liquid. When the guards grabbed Brutus and pulled him away, they were stunned, indeed everyone was stunned to see who the assailant was.
Could it be? Brutus? But he is an honorable man!