“C’mon you piece of shit! C’MON!” his frustration grew as he looked down at his lifeless piece of machinery. Years ago he barely had to touch it and it was up and ready to go. He looked out at the lush body in front of him, growing wild in anticipation. He could tame it if he could just get going. He yanked and pulled. He was starting to get violent. His wife would be so disappointed if he couldn’t get the job done. He tweaked the knob and applied more oil – he didn’t want to do permanent damage but he worked furiously.
With one last effort, sweat dripping down his face, he pulled. It struggled, coughing and spluttering but eventually the lawn mower kicked into action. Finally his tool was working again and he went straight to action, pushing it straight ahead, into the dense scrub. He hadn’t mown that lawn in years, embarrassed when his old machine wouldn’t work. Had it run out of ticker?
“You can get things to help it work better” his wife had said
“No, I don’t need them. It will work, just wait.”
“Let me try,” she insisted.
“No you’re too rough, you don’t know it like I do.”
“Well the grass needs to be cut. Maybe I’ll just go out and get a new lawnmower!”
The motor groaned as he penetrated the thicket. He aimed straight for the centre of the lawn, as if in defiance of the years of neglect and inaction. The garden responded with a heavy wind; rustling and raising the attention of each blade of grass. They called to him. Beckoning him, taunting him but secretly desiring his forceful presence. The Sun glistened off the light morning dew, twinkling and winking at him. Telling him it was ready.
He caressed the curvatures on the outer border. He wouldn’t need a Whipper Snipper - he could finish it off all by himself. Back and forth he worked, sweating and breathing heavily. Up and down the vast field. In and out of each nook and cranny. He was like a kid again, experiencing the joys of this hard labour for the first time. He got his mower into spots he had never reached before and the garden screamed in excitement, responding with cracking twigs and rustling leaves. Bits of grass and scrub and bush shooting and squirting out in every direction.
As he finished the lawn off he took out the grass catcher and brought it to the head of the garden. With his final efforts he aimed it at the compost pile. Shouting in triumph and satisfaction he unleashed the heavy load.
The next day he stood outside admiring the work he had done. His neighbour’s daughter, 22 year old Amy Phillips, came over.
“Hey Mr Sampson, my parents are away for a month and I need my lawn mown before a party I’m having tonight. Could you help me?”
Sampson got out his trusty lawnmower and took it across the street. He got it started in one go.