He Danced Like No One Was Watching

Saturday With Shutter – Monday Edition

After a somewhat colder winter it has been a late Spring here in Ohio as I am sure everyone can agree. Normally by this time my human has already mowed two or perhaps even three times. So, seeing as he was currently caught up on his current work and by virtue of the fact it was in the mid 60’s outside today, my human decided it was going to be a good day for giving the yard a tending to.

In the front yard is a large Acer saccharinum or more commonly know as a Silver Maple tree standing oh, perhaps 60 feet tall. This particular genius of tree is most notable for two things. First, it provides a large amount of shade. That’s about all of it’s good features save for this Maples ideal placement for lifting ones leg. Second, it takes almost all Winter for it to shed all of it’s leaves. This typically means my human has to rake the yard multiple times each year and still it is common to have leaves falling even in late January over top of snow. Thus when Spring comes and the snow melts there is always a thin layer of leaves left behind.

So that’s the setup. Spring, mow, maple tree, and leaves. Everybody with me so far? Good. So my human drags the mower from the backyard storage building, fills it’s tank with the necessary combustible liquid and after a few minutes of tenuous pulling of the starter cord that I thought sure was going to cause him to have a stroke, the mower finally rumbls to life. Now, the front yard is divided into two parts with a small sidewalk down the middle flanked at the end near the street by two tall shrubs. The afore mentioned Silver Maple is on the right side of the yard. So my human begins his mowing on the left side as I watch from the window. And everything is going along swimmingly and I’m rather enjoying watching him sweat for a change.

With the left side done he moves onto the right. He makes a couple of long rectangle cuts mulching the dusting of leaves as he goes. By now it’s starting to get a little boring. So as I am looking around and wishing I too could be outside on such a glorious day when I notice an average size Red Tail Hawk perched in the top of the Maple tree. It’s a common site made even more visible by the fact that the tree is not yet leafed out. My human however did NOT see it and this is where things got interesting.

So there’s my human just walking along pushing the mower, iPod blasting in his ears, sunglasses on wearing shorts and a tee shirt when Mr Hawk decides to take flight. Off the branch he leaps four foot wings spread to catch the warm afternoon breeze and right over the head of my preoccupied human. Now in truth Mr. Hawk wasn’t even close. He was easily six feet or so directly above my human. But it was 1 o’clock in the afternoon and the sun too was directly overhead in a near cloudless sky. So as Mr. Hawk went on his merry way soaring twelve feet or so off the ground he cast for only a moment a massive crisp dark shadow over my human that was perhaps eight feet or so across. With his amazing cat like reflexes as the shadow passed over my human let go of the safety bar on the mower and ran about twenty feet in the opposite direction. I’m sure he thought some large terrasaur was swooping in to make him his lunch.

Now this brief incident was mildly humorous. It’s like watching him walk between the tall shrubs at the end of the sidewalk and getting an unseen spider web unexpectedly across the face. He turns into some super kung fu master ninja with arms flailing in all directions. It’s the little things. Now here is where it really gets good.

My human returns and restarts the mower, surely the adrenaline is still just coursing through his body. He makes another swipe through the taller than usual grass when he comes to a small rather dense pile of leaves right under the tree. He pauses for a second and then makes a run at the pile intent on mulching them into oblivion. And about three quarters of the way through the pile, and still reeling from the effects of the shadow from the hawk, Mother Nature has one more little surprise for him. SNAKES!

And I don’t mean one or two. I mean half way through that pile of leaves as he exposed the bare ground below about a dozen harmless garden snakes fanned out in every direction! I swear it looked like a scene from an Indiana Jones movie snakes going every which direction. At this point my human abandoned all semblance of masculinity and screamed like, well, I honestly don’t know what to compare it to as I don’t think I’ve ever heard that sound before. What is even more funny is he had no idea which way to run he just seemed to dance and hop around going first one way and then another. For an instant he didn’t know what to do as they just seemed to go in every direction. I literally fell out of the window laughing.

Once he had collected himself and with the use of last Winters snow shovel which had not yet been returned to the garage, he managed to scoop several of the snakes up with the caution one might use when handling toxic waste and toss them harmlessly into the back field. The rest slithered off to dog knows where allowing my human to ever so cautiously complete his mowing.

There’s no subtle moral to this story and perhaps I should have titled it “Help Wanted”. Because after today’s entertainment I suspect that at least for the foreseeable future, he will be hiring someone to cut the grass. So if you know of anyone who might want a summer mowing job give us a call. I’m pretty sure my human is hiring.

Carry on,


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