The garden was coming along nicely. He found it therapeutic, to spend time pottering amidst the plants, although he cut a rather grim figure. Despite the midday sun, blazing, in all its fury, he wore a heavy robe, with the hood drawn up obscuring his features. He had a tiny garden fork he was using to weed the garden and turning over the soil it helped with aeration he had read in a Home & garden.
He paused to wipe sweat from his brow, using the sleeve of his robe, that’s when he became aware of the dog barking. The neighbour’s dog was always barking at people, though never at him, it tended to keep away from him (he had his suspicions that the dog was rabid but even then, it knew better than to trifle with him) and chasing random cyclists if the gate was not shut properly.
Once he had cornered the owner to tell him “Your dog has been chasing a guy with a bicycle” The man had the impunity to reply that “First of all the dog is called Danger, secondly Danger does not have a bicycle and thirdly, if Danger had a bicycle, obviously he can’t ride lacking opposable thumbs and so forth.”
The man was never seen again, soon after that, a new pod appeared in his garden. Which is why he was now paying attention to the barking dog, he was now its new owner of sorts, he had a curious habit, you see, of taking in strays and making them indebted to him. He had even altered the sign at his gate to read,
The Doctor of Needful Things
“Beware of Danger”
Danger was barking at two young gentlemen standing by the gate. One of them was holding a rock evidently meaning to throw it the dog.
“I would not recommend you do that” he said peering over the gate. The two men were startled, they hadn’t seen him coming, no-one ever did.
“I.. er… am sorry, Sir, the gate has no bell and we tried shouting, I was simply going to bang the rock against the gate. Now that you are here could you spare us a few minutes of your__.”
He held up his hand quickly silencing the lad. He had heard enough to judge them to be sales men of sorts, it takes one to know one after all
“Whatever you are selling, I do not need, neither do I have the disposable income__”
“Sir, we are not selling anything. We just want to__”
“Do not presume to interrupt me when I am talking, I was also going to add, all my bills are paid up, I even have a valid TV license,” then he cleared his throat and continued in a more reassuring tone “Now however if I can help you gentleman with anything. I would be happy to oblige what do you wish for.”
The two gents looked at each other, then the other one, who had been silent throughout spoke up.
“Sir we are your neighbour’s last living relatives and we have come to check up on him, we talk on the phone but he has missed several family dinners, he never used to do that and we were hoping if you had seen him lately”
“Why didn’t you start with that, come in, come in, he has been doing a bit of growing, I’ll show you.”
They followed him round the back, to the garden just like lambs.
Later, much later, after he had finished with the ridges of the two new mounds, the exact shape and size of the two gents, he watered the two new pods that had sprouted in his garden. People who needed things from him just like people who displeased him had a habit of winding up planted, in his backyard. He brushed dirt from his hands and nodded slowly to himself;
“This year, there will be a good harvest.”
~The End (for now)