Blade in the Mower

I cut the grass. It’s not much, but it’s an honest living. Today’s job is Mr. Winters. I mow his lawn every week right at five. I unload the riding mower from my truck and glance at the front porch, where I usually catch Mr. Winters reading the evening paper.

This time I see his wife instead. “Evening, Mrs. Winters,” I greet with a tip of my hat. “Good evening, Jonathon,” she says back with a smile. Sweet woman. Never seen her alone on the porch before though.

“Is Mr. Winters around?” I ask. I usually don’t meddle, but Mr. Winters gives me a check at the end of each job and tonight’s grocery night for my family. “He’s gone out of town,” she tells me with a sigh. “I wrote you a check from my book today.”

I nod and thank her before turning the key to my mower. As I get halfway through the back lawn about to turn around at the tree-line, the mower makes an awful noise and chunks of grass fly out the side. I quickly turn off the blades, back up the rider and kill the engine.

I walk to where the clumps of dirt and grass have been dug up. This happens sometimes; a dog decides to dig in the yard so to cover the damage the owner fills in the hole, leaving fresh dirt and loose grass that always gets caught in the blades. Only thing is the Winters don’t have a dog.

The dirt is loose so I do a little digging myself. Then, in a shallow hole I see a glint of metal. I pull up on it and it’s a knife, its blade covered in dried blood. I quickly put the knife back, burying it even deeper than I found it.

I press down the dirt as I fill it in and cover the dirt with the grass. I make a note to use the weed whacker on the spot so the grass is all the same height and I won’t disturb it again. I don’t meddle. I cut the grass.

Photo: Ian Saunders | The Oswegonian