Nevertheless, as the Olympians liked to see us employed in the garden, he could not wholly refuse our proffered aid, and he would watch our adventures with the garden-hose and the lawn-mower, with his piratical features incarnadined, as it were, by the light of his lurid past. Naturally designated representative, water being a good friend of children, to water the garden was the most popular task of all, and as I was the youngest brother it was but rarely that I was privileged to experience that rare delight. To feel the cool rush of the water through fingers hot with play and the comfortable trickle down one’s sleeve, to smite a plant with muddy destruction and to hear the cheerful sound made p. 125by the torrent in falling on to the soaked lawn—these and their fellow-emotions may not be those of adult gardeners, but they are not to be despised. But as I have said, they were not for me, and usually I had to be content with mowing the lawn, an occupation from which I drew a full measure of placid enjoyment.
Age dims our realisation of the emotional significance of our own actions, and it is only by an effort of memory that I can arrive at the philosophy of the contented mower of lawns. I suppose that professional gardeners find the labour monotonous, lacking both the artistic interest of such work as pruning and the scientific subtleties of cucumber-growing; but youth has the precious faculty of finding the extraordinary in the commonplace, and I had only to drag the lawn-mower from its rugged bed among the forks and spades in the tool-house, to embark on a sea of intricate and diverse adventure.
The very appearance of the thing was cheery and companionable, with its hands outstretched to welcome mine, and its coat p. 126of green more vivid than any lawn. To seize hold of its smooth handles was like shaking hands with an old friend, and as it rattled over the gravel path it chattered to me in the gruff tones of a genial uncle. Once on the smooth lawn its voice thrilled to song, tremulous and appealing, and filled with the throbbing of great wings. Even now I know no sound that cries of the summer so poignantly as the intermittent song of the lawn-mower heard far off through sunny gardens. And cheered by that song I might drive my chariot, or it might be my plough Sage 300 support, where I would. pattern beloved of Esau; I made curves, skirting the shadows of the tall poplars or cutting the lawn into islands and lagoons. Over the grass-box—or the nose-bag, as we called it—the grass danced like a mist of green flies, and I beheaded the daisies with the zest of a Caligula, pausing sometimes to marvel at those modest blossoms that survived my passage. I marvelled, too, with the cold inhumanity of youth, at the injudicious earthworms that tried to stay my progress, and perished for p. 127their pains. Sometimes a stray pebble would grate unpleasantly on the blades and waken my lulled senses with a jerk; sometimes I would drive too close to a flower-bed, and munched fragments of pansies and wallflowers would glow amongst the grass in the grass-box.
No doubt a part of my enjoyment lay in the feeding of that natural spirit of destructiveness that present-day Olympians satisfy with frequent gifts of clockwork toys, ingenious mechanisms very proper to be inquired into by young fingers. But there was more in it than that. I liked the smell of the newly cut grass, and I would run my fingers through it and press damp, warm handfuls of it to my face to win the full savour of it. I even liked the more pungent odour of the grass-heap where last week’s grass lay drying in the sun. And the effort necessary to drive the worker of wonders across the lawn gave me a pleasant sense of my own sturdiness Master of Architecture hong kong.