Saturday, 20 April 2013

collies and gardening

Today for the second day running we actually have warm sunshine here in Snowdonia and I have even done a few minutes gardening at intervals. I bought a wonderful implement with a fairly long handle and a very sharp curved blade from a company called Elderberry who sell things for people with disabilities or sheer old age.  This thing has actually enabled my almost useless right arm to weed patches whose weeds I can then gather up with the left hand. Probably I'd better put some bits of wire fence on flower beds before Jess realises it's spring and decides to help.
This is her smiling. Yes, I do mean smiling, not snarling.
 I am in the process of writing a book of animal stories, pure fiction, unlike And Hereby Hangs a Tail which is true. All the tales concern a small border collie who doesn't like sheep, her dragon friend and her boss who is a poet.
This episode concerns gardening so I thought I'd post it.


The poet had been busy in his garden. Now it was lunchtime.
He looked around his newly dug flower beds. The antirrhinums his friend had given him were all planted in a newly dug bed. He thought they would be lovely next year when they came into bloom. They would look really nice in front of the phlox he’d planted last year and which were growing well.
Now, he thought, it’s time for a nice cool drink and some lunch. Ffili followed him into the kitchen and put on her most hopeful look.

‘I suppose you want your lunch too?’ said the poet.

‘Yes, please.’ said Ffili.

The poet placed a nice bowl of meat and biscuit on the floor by her water bowl and Ffili tucked in enthusiastically.
When she’d finished and the poet had made his own lunch, he opened the door for Ffili.

‘Perhaps you’d better go out for a few minutes, little one,’ he said.

Ffili went out. I liked it better when it was wild and grassy, she thought. She eyed the fork that the poet had left stuck in the flower bed. Strange that people needed a thing like that for digging. She could do it much quicker with her paws. She decided to surprise him with a bit of help.

She started on the flower bed behind the new plants. He hadn’t dug that at all. Her little paws flashed in and out and the soil flew behind her. It was good fun, especially when she came to the plants. They were tougher than the earth and she had to dig hard to get the roots out. She’d noticed how the poet dug out a lot of grass and stuff, so she dug really hard and even pulled some roots out with her teeth.

When she thought she’d done enough, she went in to fetch the poet. He was sitting by the fire with his slippers on, but he followed her out to see what she was wuffing about.
All his lovely phlox plants were lying around the lawn in pieces and a good deal of the flower bed too.

He was surprised but definitely not pleased.