the spitting cucumber

travelling through Samos some years ago, along a mountain road, we had stopped for a rest and growing at the roadside was a low straggling plant, with yellow flowers and large seed pods covered in fine bristles

spitting cucumber

curious, but not wanting to touch the bristles, I idly nudged the seed pod with my foot, as an idle fellow would

and in that infinitesimal instant the pod exploded and spat out some juice - into my eye

it was only later that I found out the plant was known as a spitting cucumber

I could not help but wonder just how far down the social scale one has to be, to be spat at by a wild roadside plant in a remote part of a Greek island ...

know thy place!

(photograph borrowed from the website; I trust they won't mind)