I decided to kill them. I planned my day around it. I sat in a chair early in the morning slowly eating dry toast in my breakfast nook and I watched them out the window. I watched them from the shadows. I counted down the minutes they had left to live, their hour glass a grim dry piece of toast that steadily vanished behind my gnashing teeth.
They bent and danced in the yard. Their idiot yellow faces turned towards the sky as they smiled with their offensive never ending smiles. They clapped and sang in a chorus of embarrassing ignorance.
Nothing but crumbs now on my plate. I carefully folded my napkin, adjusted my shoe laces and stepped out into my yard.
They watched quietly as I passed through their midst, down the path to the shed. They were silent, frozen in place, suddenly very still. Moments later their fears were confirmed as I stepped out of the shed dragging behind me the steel war machine. I paused, finally making eye contact with the hundreds of tiny yellow faces. They seemed serene. At peace with their fate. It was like they were practiced in death. These were innocent creatures. Was it their fault that they were so naturally trapped between weed and flower? Did they deserve the ire of man? I had a momentary pang of remorse.
It passed instantly with a devastating explosion of sound and power as I pulled the cord on the machine and began to trundle forward into their ranks. The gnashing teeth returned, only now the teeth were the inhuman iron teeth of the mechanical monster. It roared through the crowds of cheerful faces biting down on them with a continual violence. Biting down and down and down and never letting up. It was slow, dirty work, but the empty carpet of grass left in my wake was a testament of efficiency.
As I neared the end of my grisly task I passed over a cluster of huddled and shivering weeds. The machine quivered in my hands as it torn the patch of infestation to tiny bits. I smiled, but when I glanced behind me I saw that the smallest little yellow figure had not been harmed. Shielded by her older siblings she had somehow evaded the vacuum of destruction that had called for her. She seemed to now be struggling to stand tall. Alone in a field, she staggered, but lived. I coldly concluded that I would hit her again on the next pass.
But then a miracle happened. As I continued through the ranks of enemy troops, the sun slanted behind me and I became aware of a second shadow in the field. I slowly shut off the mower and turned around.
And there it was. Young Lydia, rushing with her head crouched low, sprinting across the battlefield like a field medic under heavy enemy fire, a package held firmly under her arms. Without looking up at me, she ran a straight line from the kitchen door to the lone dandelion in the mowed patch of grass. Then standing over it she carefully tipped a pitcher of water onto it. She delicately poured a stream of refreshing clear water on its head. She danced the stream around its roots, on the cropped stems of its family. The wet pitcher sparked in the sun like a jewel releasing the nectar of God. A fountain of life. A refreshing glass of mercy. An apology. The water flowed into a pool and gradually disappeared into the dirt at the base of the young plant. The water now gone from the pitcher, she nodded her head and turned and ran back to the house.
When I returned a few moments later, with the rattling machine in my fists, I hesitated next to the wet flower. It drooped away in fear, but I could sense a smug smile. A daring smile. My daughter watched me from the kitchen window, a newly filled pitcher of water in her hands.
I thought about this flower. I thought about my clean yard, pure and clear of dandelions and the legions of new yellow pests that hid deep inside this one small Trojan Horse flower.
I looked one last time down at the colorful weed, then to my daughter, then at my lawn mower. I looked across my lawn to my neighbor’s yards all sparkling wonderlands free of weeds. Perfectly cut lines. Immaculate spectacles. Finally, I looked back at my daughter. I waved. She waved. I smiled. She smiled. With a sigh of defeat I closed my eyes and continued on, leaving this one small mocking speck on my Kingdom of perfection. My enemy had uncovered my weakness and I had lost.