It’s Wednesday, December 11th. One hundred years to the day when the community of Enterprise, Alabama, put up a very special monument in the middle of town.
It’s a statue of a Greek woman holding a boll weevil, an invasive pest that had ruined the local cotton crop.
That sounds strange, of course, so let me try to explain.
The statue was originally supposed to hold something else, but Enterprise decided the boll weevil deserved the place of honor, given all it had done.
That still doesn’t sound right, does it?
Ok, let’s go further back.
The boll weevil had moved north into the United States in the 1890s and over time it spread to much of the American South, which grew a huge amount of cotton.
Boll weevils feed on cotton, which is bad news for farmers, especially given how important the cotton crop was to those areas.
The infestation forced farmers to try growing other crops, one of them being the peanut, which the great scientist George Washington Carver had been promoting for years as a profitable and more soil-friendly alternative to cotton.
Soon, Enterprise was making millions growing peanuts and other non-cotton crops while other communities were being devastated by the boll weevil.
By the way, it took decades to finally get the bug out of American cotton fields,. so maybe it makes sense that instead of cursing the boll weevil for taking away its top cash crop, the community of Enterprise decided to thank the bug for making their farmers think outside the cotton box.
Still, it’s a good thing they have an informational sign next to the statue, or visitors might wonder why the Greek statue was holding a giant bug high above her head.
Enterprise, Alabama has turned the boll weevil into art, but YouTube Steven Newland has turned his Christmas tree into something amazing: Treezilla!
It’s a tree shaped like Godzilla itself, complete with razor-sharp claws, glowing eyes, and, of course, breathing fire.
A tree that’s going to send us back to the Stone Age!
Boll Weevil Honored (Library of Congress)
Treezilla! The Godzilla Christmas Tree (Steven Newland on YouTube)
Boll weevil statue photo by Linda via Flickr/Creative Commons