The Deck Fairy
After my trees lost their leaves last Autumn I tried pruning them back. I did this with my plumbing hacksaw, but tragically it wasn’t up to the challenge of thicker tree branches and the blade snapped. Then I watched apathetically as winter passed and the skeletal trees stood all branchy and mocking. I wasn’t sure they would even survive winter, so heavy were they with spindly branches following the wet, humid summer.
One Saturday in winter, when I was busy not buying a new saw, my neighbour knocked on my door and asked if he could stand on my side of the fence so he could prune his trees. I said sure, and I even moved my car for him. While doing this I witnessed him using what I later learned was called a tree lopper, but at the time I thought was just a saw-blade on the end of a long stick.
I meant to ask if I could borrow the tree lopper for my own trees, but I never did. It was hard to ask because I don’t know my neighbours name. I probably should learn these things, but when I first moved in I introduced myself to a neighbour, found out his name and even waved at him a few times and then he sold his house and moved. I wasn’t sure I could handle the cost of losing an investment like that again.
So, spring arrived and the trees blossomed and the grass began to stir and I realised that gardening this summer was going to suck because my aggressive trees would be all sprouty and violent. I was hanging out the washing on the deck this morning, staring down the trees and thinking “I wish I had a tree lopper.”
Then, as I hung a bra on the clothes horse, a flash of orange through the decking caught my eye. Could it be, in the darkest reaches beneath the deck, a tree lopper had been stashed and forgotten? It didn’t seem possible, but the glimpse had seemed so real.
I opened the hatch to the space below the porch and coughed at the dust. I crawled across the gravel, past the old stairs and into the dim space. I swore every time I bashed my spine against the decking above. I was right. There was a tree lopper underneath my deck that must have been there the whole time I've lived here. I carried it back to the light and marvelled. Then I clipped some trees with it, which was wicked fun.