Marginalia, no.216

A wonderful thing in their nature: they cannot abide oil in any wise, but water they love well; insomuch , as if they be cut off, or fallen from the place where they grew, they wind and creep thereinto.

~ Pliny, Natural History (Philemon Holland trans.)

He’s referring to cucumbers. I thought I would test the claim and so removed a cucumber from the fridge and set it overnight by a saucer of water to see if it would, in fact, “wind and creep thereinto.” What a disappointment. The next evening, however, a couple slices of the uncooperative vegetable did manage, by a mysterious locomotion, to find their way to my gin and tonic.


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