Allow us to make a brief introduction before getting to the story. Thank you.
As we promised, we’ll be sharing historical stories from retired Canadians. That’s what our Foundation is all about. Whether they be zoologists, technicians, mechanics, or landscapers, their stories are unique and interesting and are an important part of Canadian history.
Today, we have a very original story from a retired Canadian in Hamilton Ontario. He was a landscaper for over 30 years in Ontario and has hundreds of stories to tell. We told him to tell us one story.
And here is his words…
“If over 30 years of landscaping Hamilton Ontario experience could say one thing, it would say nothing because there are millions of things to say and it would explode from trying to pick just one. But thank goodness I’ve already thought about this before when training young landscapers in Barrie.
“First of all, I just want to say thank you, Saritsa Foundation, for sharing stories from retired Canadians because I too believe this is a part of our history and they may otherwise be lost forever if not conserved on the internet. So thank you.
“Let me see. If this story had a name it would be called:
“A Landscaper in Hamilton Ontario Gets Followed by Garden Gnomes
“No spoilers intended. I was aerating a lawn in late winter. I think it was 1989. The lawn was rather muddy, stretching across the perimeter of a residential townhouse. There were lots of kids playing around, a few of them playing in the dirt pile I had ordered. They listened to me well when I told them to leave my stuff alone.
“After lunch, (amazingly I remember eating a roast beef sandwich with my sister’s homemade mustard) I came back to the work site to find gnomes standing around in places they hadn’t been before. I took this as a humorous prank, moved them aside, and went straight back to work aerating the grassy, muddy soil. It was not a good day to be aerating lawns, but my boss disagreed. So there I was, getting my boots dirty unnecessarily, digesting the tastiest sandwich in the world.
“I had a habit of taking a second break two hours after lunch back then (later I learned it was way better financially to plow through the worked day until the last hour) and so this time when I came back I saw that all the gnomes were back but in different spots. I didn’t find it too funny this time, but went back to work all the same. I decided to work around the gnomes, as someone might get mad if I moved them, I thought.
“It just so happened that during this time a heavy fog was rolling through Hamilton. The fog was stronger then ever now, blocking my vision for 20 feet in every direction. This made lawn aeration very hard because I kept forgetting which spots I had already aerated. But anyway, as I was working, getting hopeful about finishing the day early, I noticed that a gnome had moved without me touching it. It was in a different spot, right next to a rake I had leaned against a tree.
“I frowned at it, but kept working. A few minutes later, it happened again. A gnome was a few feet behind me, a blue one, staring at me, and I heard a snigger in the fog. If a gnome could chuckle, that’s what it sounded like. My heart pumped harder, but I kept working, thinking those darn kids were trying to get a reaction out of me. I remembered being a school boy myself and playing pranks on the janitor. That’s all it was. I thought. Until a gnome slowly came into view right in front of me through the fog and I heard a laugh behind me at the same time. The fog was getting thicker and I threw my tools on the ground.
“By now I was not getting back to work until I found out who in tarnation was trying to prank me. Well, this wouldn’t be a good story if the solution to my problem was easily attainable. The fog began to ebb and as I searched around looking for those darn kids the gnomes began to disappear. I knocked on a few parents doors and asked if their kids were out playing (which might have sounded really creepy now that I think of it) and it turned out that all kids in the townhouse usually turn in for dinner around 5 o’clock, which was the time at the moment. So I just said thank you with a confused tone and to this day I still have no freaking clue who had pranked me with those darn garden gnomes.
“And now thanks to the internet and the Saritsa Foundation, the mystery will live on forever.”