dogs, life, photography

Beware the ride-on mower…

If you’re thinking of buying acreage, here’s a little warning, give it serious thought. You may well ask why, but a purchase of this type requires garden maintenance and the easiest way to do this is with the use of a ride-on mower.
How this could be a problem? Read on.
I was once in possession of acreage and one sunny morning I noticed the grass needed attention. My teenage son was primarily in charge of this job, but he was away that weekend so I figured I would do it for him.
So sitting proudly atop my ride-on mower, I felt quite pleased with myself. I say proudly because it had taken me the best part of 30 minutes to get this motorised monster to roar into life.
Why, I hear you ask? Simply because the mechanical beast in question had aged considerably and the starter battery once the source of very quick and effective ignition, had died long ago.
Sheer brute strength and frantic pulling of a rip style cord was now required to get this reluctant machine to perform. Having achieved that part of the ritual, I had to be quick for in order to feed the beast a rusty lever had to be pushed forward to continue the flow of fuel otherwise the beast would starve and if that happened, it would splutter, spit and finally stop causing the whole
back-breaking performance to be repeated.
As luck would have it I was swift and I was soon bouncing off down the road to begin the task. After about 20 minutes of chomping, slicing and devouring a fair chunk of land, my confidence had grown. Zipping around orange, apple and lime trees, ploughing through overgrown weeds and ripping through dead roots, I was feeling quite daring. Spotting a cluster of grass that was strangling a dying tree; I set off to the rescue. However this rescue was going to be tricky as the tree in question grew on a slope and would require some deft footwork of the combined brake, reverse and accelerator pedal to keep myself and my machine from rolling uncontrollably down the hill. But of course that was not going to be a problem, as I knew exactly how to handle this machine, or so I thought.
Off I scurried down the hill and manoeuvring my machine with precision and panache, I sliced through the offending grass. Nearing the end of my mission, I reversed down the slope to get the best vantage point for a final burst that would see the killer grass finally end its murderous ways.As I slammed down the accelerator, freshly churned soil flew into the air as my wheels were forced into action. This action was my downfall for as my wheels spun, they lost traction and before I could act, I started sliding backwards down the hill. No longer having a man around the house I was not in the position to scream like a banshee in the hope of being rescued, instead there was only Sausage who would hear my bellowing. And for those who don’t know Sausage, she was my beloved dog (she has since passed away) and a rather small one at that, so any hope of rescue from her was out of the question. Then panic set in for rather than push my heal downward, which would have powered the brake action, I pushed forward causing my mower to thrust backwards at incredible speed. Fearing death and realising no help was at hand, I took evasive action. I had to get off this mad beast and fast. In my haste to dismount my right shoelace became entangled with the seat, which left me to hop frantically on my other leg alongside a backward moving, mad mower.
Suddenly I could see the headline flash before my eyes.
I screamed (all in vain I might add) ‘stop, stop, you mad mower’, but did it listen? No, it just kept on rolling without a thought for my safety, and in the midst of this madness Sausage watched with great interest, probably wondering why I had chosen to mow in such a stylish yet awkward manner.
Thankfully rescue was forthcoming, but not by Sausage or some macho male who heard my screams. No, my saviour was a large tree that halted my descent just as the Beast and my now mildly mangled right leg were destined for extinction.
Hallelujah I gushed as I freed my leg from the jaws of the mad mower, but sadly it was that moment Sausage decided she could help, and not seeing her small grey shape, over I went. Not one to be easily offended, Sausage took this opportunity (seeing I was now at her level, flat on my back on the freshly cut grass) to shower me with a few swift fish-breath infused slurps.
So there I was, now not so proudly lying beside a still roaring mower while a delighted and very smelly sausage dog showered me with love and affection. Removing Sausage from my face I pushed and heaved until the reluctant mechanical beast was back on even ground.
Later, as I stood on my verandah with a glass of wine in hand, and a blood soaked bandage wrapped tightly my leg, I realised ride-on mowers are to be treated with respect.
So heed this warning unsuspecting and prospective gardeners: never underestimate the ride-on mower, they can be very dangerous creatures and need to be handled with care!

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