Thursday, November 15, 2007

The difficult sod!

There is nothing quite like a well laid lawn to set off one’s garden. A fine green sward after all, is a delightful backdrop in any well cultivated garden. So thought Nigel as he surveyed the fruits of his horticultural labours, he had his very own well laid lawn. For their part, his neighbours too seemed impressed with his handy-work, and they cast admiring and perhaps even envious glances over his front garden. All that time Nigel had invested in clearing the ground of weeds and stones, and the time he had spent in the leveling and firming of the soil in preparation for the turf, was surely worth the result. Now with a little regular watering and mowing he would reap the reward of having the lawn he had always dreamed of, a lawn to be proud of. There is it has to be said a lot of lawn envy in gardening circles, but if there has to be envy it is surely better to be envied than to be envious. Tired but contented Nigel put away his tools and retired for the evening, he would sleep soundly tonight, it had been a job well done.

Morning. As Nigel drew back the curtains from the window in order to reveal his now pristine lawn, he couldn't’t believe his eyes, for the lawn was gone; there before him were the same turf rolls that he had laid ever so carefully on that long afternoon. His lawn had been un-laid it was re-rolled; all his hard work was undone. Incredible as it was he was a loss to understand why and who would do such a thing. Nigel was not amused by this madness by this prank; he was also unable to think why anybody should do this thing this madness to him. It was certainly not at all funny, no not funny at all. The rest of Nigel’s day, he knew, was to be taken up with the relaying of the sod. More tedious today than yesterday, his gardening endeavours were not nearly as satisfying. Upon completion the restored lawn looked fine, there was no lasting damage. And maybe one day he would look back on this irritating episode and laugh out loud, maybe but not today, Nigel’s sense of humour had deserted him, and just when he needed it most. Tired but satisfied he had resolved the problem and saved the lawn, he went indoors.

Numb. Transfixed, not again surely not again, but there, on morning of day three, once again was the absence of a lawn. Nigel saw that the turf strips had again been lifted and re-rolled, maybe not quite as neatly this time, but none the less re-rolled they were. Unbelievable. This was beyond a joke. His pride had been eroded by the idiot who had deconstructed his garden.

Once more Nigel restored the lawn and as he did so he recounted his story to sympathetic neighbours, passers by and indeed anyone who would listen. People expressed their sympathy but some struggled to suppress a smile. They were added to Nigel’s ever lengthening list of suspects.

Darkness fell and the epic battle to lay that lawn had worn Nigel out, though as tired as he was he did not sleep easily.

In the early hours of the morning he heard a noise.What was that! There it was again, it was a shuffling sound coming from outside the house, from his lawn from his thrice laid lawn. Racing downstairs Nigel threw open the door to reveal the culprit eerily illuminated by the street light.

"Cyril! What are you doing?"

And it was Cyril his neighbour who was stood amidst the re-rolled turf . Unashamedly Cyril continued to lift the turf and he seemed amazed at the fuss Nigel was making about it.Cyril was a celebrity of sorts and possibly the biggest pig you ever saw, at least as big as a donkey.This good natured old tusker was pampered by the farm workers he was also a children’s favourite, many of whom brought him tit bits of food. He particularly enjoyed wholemeal bread, a whole loaf at a time. Domesticated he may be but he had still retained those primeval pig ways.The scent of the newly laid lawn and the damp earth must have been too much for him. Cyril still knew how to rut for his food, and Nigel can testify to that. Across the road at Sparrow hawk farm Cyril's owners were unaware of his nocturnal wanderings, the big boar was always in his enclosure on a morning. Cyril's pen was made secure and the turf in Nigel's garden was finally laid

And even Nigel can laugh about his lawn now.

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