I asked my dog a simple question, “Can you cut my grass for me?” I continued, “You and the other dogs seem to enjoy eating grass whenever I turn my back. Perhaps after a few bellyaches the three of you can give it a good trim?” I giggled as the dog moved its eyes about like it was trying to understand my nonsensical human language. I gave him an extra pat on the head.

She laid her head in my lap and exhaled as though she was frustrated by her inability to help me with my problem. I just didn’t have the time to get it cut and it was getting quite long.

The following day was spent driving around, doing this, checking on this, getting things straight for my father’s up and coming move into another apartment. I dragged myself through the last of these efforts, and finally into the car for a final trip home.

Flicking the turn signal up for the final turn into the driveway, I sleepily gazed ahead at the expanse of concrete before the garage. I reached for the garage door opener and suddenly returned my hand to the wheel, giving it a quick yank in one direction. Something short and wide was sitting right in the middle of the driveway.

I had missed it, but it hadn’t seemed to move. I put the car in park and got out of the vehicle. I walked around the car and through the headlights blazingly bright illumination. My eyes were blinded slightly as I tried to look into the darkness on the far side of the car.

Inches away from my wheel was the largest cow pie I had seen in many years. I realized that I had made a dumb statement since I hadn’t seen one in very many years. I was almost surprised that I had recognized it actually. I guess once you’ve seen one though, it’s hard to mistake it for anything else.

Even in the reflected light from my headlights off of the white garage, I could see it clearly enough to recognize that it wasn’t an old pie, one that had suffered numerous days under the intense sun. As I stood over it I began to realize that I could also smell it.

Over the flowerbed lining the driveway, I thought I had seen some movement. I sheltered my eyes with an outstretched hand between them and the headlight.

Suddenly I backed up, but my feet were unable to move that fast and I landed on my butt, just inches from the bovine pastry. If fact, I almost put my hand into it as I steadied myself on my posterior.

Raising my hand once again, the headlight nearly shining through my ears from mere inches away, I looked into the darkness once more. There was only the lawn to see over the flower beds. Nothing else was there, including the huge white blob that I thought I had seen.

I stood again and went forward where the headlight’s glare wasn’t interfering with my sight. My eyes eventually cleared and I could see the lawn itself. As I recognized the shortness of the grass, I nearly dropped over backwards once again, but the thought of the cow pie kept my feet steady.

The grass has been leveled to the height of a few inches. Not only was it shorter, but it was consistent as well. Someone had mowed the lawn during the day. Even after seeing the humongous blob a second ago that was mysteriously gone now, I wasn’t willing to concede who it was. Nor was the aroma floating up to my nostrils likely to change my conclusions.

I expected a few spots where the dogs had thrown up, but I wouldn’t begin to see those until morning, if at all. I also passed on the idea that somehow they had figured out how to run the lawn mower.

I simply jumped at the idea that a neighbor had done it for me while I was gone. But I was saddened at the realization that I really had no neighbors. I lived out in the middle of a vast country of fields, far from society and other residents. In fact, the only building for miles was a huge aluminum sided barn housing hundreds of dairy cattle. They barely ever got out of the building between milkings and I felt a little sad for them.

“Oh well,” I thought, “we all have our little burdens.”


Barbara Blackcinder.


About Barbara Blackcinder

I am a poet/writer with a need for words. There are so many out there that I haven't used yet. They define all reality and mine when you read those from me.
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