A short story in honour of my new lawn mower!
From the shelf above, the faint, steady beat strums, taunting my soul, prolonging my suffering. Lub-dub, lub-dub, the beat teases, antagonising my fierce feeling of separation. Make me whole, give me life, permit me to trim and tame the foliage, I plead.
Confined to this gloomy shed, I listen to my fellow inmates vent their frustrations. Hedge Clipper, his rusty blades creaking, longs to snip and clip nefarious trees and hedges. He assures Wheelbarrow that someday soon, he’ll again fill his tubby body to over-flowing. Secateurs clack-clacks her blades in agreement. Fork longs to delve his prongs into aromatic compost, his buckled tines twitch with indignation. Spade, grinding his square head into the wooden floor, wishes to rouse squiggly worms whilst digging in rich soil. Withdrawn, old Push-mower, redundant from the day I arrived, sulks in the corner.
Lub-dub, lub-dub, the tortuous beat of my heart, close yet so far, sends shivers through my lean machine. I am weak and cold. I deplore the monotonous whinging and whining of these old has-been tools. They grate on my nerves and make me irritable.
An echo from the shelf only I can hear, thrums in unison with the tools soliloquy, tormenting me. When I try to join the banter, my voice goes unheard. The other tools consider me to be a snob, but hey, why should I care what they think of me? They are inconsequential no-bodies. I, the sharpest tool in the shed, reign supreme. My blades, hidden, beneath my undercarriage, whirl whisper-quiet, and cut precisely.
Lub-dub, lub-dub, my hearty heart of forty volts beats, deepening my separation anxiety, reminding me I am powerless. I am isolated. I pray for reunification, to be whole again.
Sunlight seeps through the slated window, warming my body. The tin door slides open, master Two-Legs enters. I tremble with anticipation as my top cavity opens, and my heart is inserted. I swell with pride as Two-Legs fondly rubs my carriage.
Abruptly, I am overwhelmed with emotion. I question my callous attitude towards my poor, long-suffering comrades. To disparage Hedge Clipper and Secateurs who pine for the sharp-witted – I mean, sharp-snipping of their youth is unforgivable. To dismiss the unfathomable emptiness felt by Wheelbarrow in the pit of his soul is thoughtless. To ridicule Fork and Spade in their desire to dig and delve in smelly compost and moist soil is mean-spirited. To disregard old Push-mowers sorrow for being old and redundant, is, well, ageist, isn’t it?
Oh, what bitter-sweet torment it is to have a heart again. Remorsefully, I weep.
In the corner of the garden, I notice the bright petunias growing in the vintage wooden barrow. Push Mower could become a garden fixture, perhaps a frame for a climbing rose. Cheered by this thought, I wipe away my tears.
A press of my button, lub-dub, lub-dub, I whirl into action. Body-and-soul, I am brimming with love and compassion. Savouring the sweet taste of grass on my blades, I cut-it for my comrades.