The Grass Is Always Greener
Please see the Author’s Note at the end.
Buying her house was a big deal. It was five years of careful planning and rigid self-control to save enough money for the down payment. It was very important to Gina that she do it entirely on her own, as well. Her parents had, of course, offered to help, as did her grandmother. Gina appreciated it and loved them all for their enthusiasm for her plan, but she refused. It was going to be her house, every square inch.
When the time came, Gina spent weeks looking at available properties. It was a good thing her realtor had the patience of a saint because Gina looked at, and turned down, forty-two houses before she found what she wanted. It was a cottage, really, with two bedrooms, one bath, a very sunny kitchen, and a combination living room/dining room complete with a huge picture window. Best of all, that window looked out on a beautiful front lawn.
The lawn was really extraordinary, in Gina’s opinion. The cottage was great and had everything she wanted and needed. However, it was the crab apple tree and the velvety-green lawn with a lavender border that made the place so perfect to her. Gina had never given gardening much thought but upon moving into the cottage, she threw herself into it wholeheartedly for the sake of that beautiful lawn.
A year later, Gina stood out on the walk in front of her home, chatting with her neighbor from across the street.
“Gina, I don’t want to creep you out or anything, but have you seen the woman with the little terrier that keeps hanging around in front of your house?” asked Lisa. “Do you know what she’s been doing?”
“Yeah, I’ve seen her,” Gina answered. She frowned. That was one weird woman. “I think she waits until she thinks no one is looking before she puts her dog down on my lawn.”
“And then, as soon as the dog has peed, she just picks it up and disappears around the corner with it,” Lisa added, excitedly. “It’s crazy! What in the world makes her do that? You should watch for her and confront her about it.”
Gina shook her head. “I don’t think I want to, you know? She’s so weird. Who knows what she’ll do if she thinks her dog’s pee place is being threatened.” She sighed. “She never leaves any poo behind and there’s no damage to the lawn. I think it’s best if I just ignore her.”
Lisa nodded understandingly, but before either of them could say anymore, their attention was drawn to a young girl who rounded the corner onto their street with a purposeful march. The girl looked to be about eleven or twelve years old with shoulder-length blonde hair. She didn’t look around her at all, just strode at a rapid pace along the sidewalk until she reached the corner of Gina’s lawn. Without acknowledging the presence of the two women watching her, the girl bent down and grabbed a fistful of the lush grass. She gave it a pull, tearing it free. The girl carefully stuffed and tucked the handful of grass into and under her hair behind her left ear. Then, still not looking around her or appearing to notice Gina and Lisa as they stood watching, she turned and marched back the way she had come.
Gina and Lisa turned and stared at one another in amazement.
“What the actual hell?” asked Lisa.
“Absolutely no clue,” Gina replied. “Maybe she’s related to the woman with the dog.”
“I guess that makes, for lack of a better word, sense,” agreed Lisa. “Wasn’t that the same spot where the woman always empties her dog?”
Gina nodded. Perplexed, they stood silently for several minutes. Finally, Gina shrugged.
“Maybe I should consider xeriscaping.”
Author’s Note: Weird as this little story is, it is based on a real occurrence. While our yard wasn’t bordered with lavender and we didn’t have a crab apple tree, we did have a rather nice winter lawn (in our climate, that’s fairly common). There was a weird woman who carried some little terrier-type dog to the corner of our yard so it could empty its bladder on our grass and she did stand and wait until she felt no one was watching. Weirdest of all, there was a blonde girl who came around the corner just as I was talking with a neighbor about the woman’s odd behavior and, yes, the girl did grab a handful of grass and walked away, tucking it behind her ear. I should probably have some wise observations about Life imitating Art or Truth being stranger than Fiction. However, really, I’m still just baffled.