Saturday, June 18, 2005

The Great Thistle Massacre of Ought-Five

This morning, a mighty battle was waged between myself, armed with my trusty scythe, and a teeming horde of thistles.
I'd started out intent only on trimming some grass in my field, but became distracted, remembering the words of my wife "the kids need more room to play", and decided to mow down some tall grass nearer the house. That is when the first hint of trouble showed itself. I noticed a few small thistles had infiltrated the grass. They were trying to look tall and thin, to fit in, but much training has given me virtually infallible ability to spot these prickly devils.
Just as I felt I nearly quashed the insurgency, I crested the northern slope and set my eyes on what must have been a full battalion of large, angry, thistles.
Last summer a bulldozer had been here. Apparently, the thistle leader decided to use this clearing as the launchpad in some evil coup d'etat.
After a brief shockwave went through me, I sprang into action, toppling the first wave of them with the fluid agility of a natural warrior. On the second wave, disaster struck. My once trusty scythe blade snapped about 3/4ths of the way towards the beard-end!
We had fought a particularly troublesome campaign (a successful attempt to regain control of the south river) with some salmonberry bushes. One of them had managed to put a nick in his leading edge. Apparently, since then, that nick had festered, and run deeper than I knew. The final blow was but a tap, nothing close to the blows he'd survived before. And there it was, the greater part of his body, lying on the battlefield. Self-preservation nearly won me over as I prepared to concede the field. But then, a final look at my fallen comrade and a fierce glint from his remaining blade-edge caught my eye. He was telling me, in no uncertain terms, he was prepared to press on. I was nearly too astounded to believe the audacity, but his gleam could leave no doubt as to his intention.
One more tentative swipe at the enemy erased any concerns I had. Together, we pressed on and wiped out the enemy.
On the way back home, we encountered another sinister threat; Rubus himalaya, bent, no doubt, on drubbing us, humiliatingly. However, we erased that scourge, almost as an afterthought.
I already have recruited a new long blade for battles sure to come. But I think my old standby has proved he still has it in him to be, at least, a garden blade.

4 comments :

Lief said...

We laud your valiant efforts, pressing on amidst such adversity with vast courage. Indeed, the fierce glint from your fallen comrade instills the necessary courage in us all to press on.
Please know that we mourn the injury of your fallen comrade but recognize that his loss was not in vain.

Sir Lief, Lady Angela, and Princess Peanut

Bop-op said...

It was heathen invaders such as these, from beyond the northern barbarian borders, that caused the Greeks and Romans to begin planting turf.

Please do not falter in your quest for a natural landscape. Encourage the growth of Thimbleberry, Salmonberry, Oregon Grape, wild Strawberry, Salal, Lupine and other indigenous species.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your story and had some advice. Next time, wait until the thistles form flowers and then just nip off the flowers before they go to seed. If you slaughter a field of thistles then they will just regroup and come back with a vengeance! Take their nice flowers away and you will be assured victory!

Sanders W. Howse III said...

Love the post. Im about to order a Scythe from Scythe supply.com and found your post there. wonderful. Im hoping to fell about 1/3 acre of flax that refused to come peacefully from the covercrop of last year with my new ditch blade. Your story has lent me the courage also to tackle our 9 acre orchard which has been taken by blackberry over the last 6 years since the bulldozer came by!