He's Outstanding in His Field - No Dialogue Contest - October 2020
I will stand proudly. The sun will beat on my head. I love this time of year. It’s my time to shine, to show the world my reason for being.
I’ve been waiting patiently in the garage recesses, ignoring the cold of winter, with mice that come to chew on my clothes. Then there are the drenching rains of early spring that wet my feet. No one’s fixed that leak back in my corner.
Now the sun shines for sixteen hours a day. The dog sniffs me. The cat climbs up to my hat to sleep with me for a few hours. The humans plant seeds. Soon I will be in the garden again to guard the fruits of their labor.
But wait! I see something from the garage door. The humans move something into the garden. Something small with a red hat. Oh no, I hope that’s not what I think it is.
A small human is rummaging in the garage, and I am moved out of my spot. A good sign, soon I will be in the garden. Perhaps they are readying my area now. My new garage storage spot is near a window so I can observe, and sure enough, my fears are realized. There is now a gnome in the garden. It is Gary from the yard next door. How is this possible? He has moved into the garden, into my designated spot.
I’m powerless to fight this sacrilege. Stuck in this garage, I cannot move. Gary will not know the proper way to scare the birds. He's not the scarecrow. How will he protect my garden?
For months I watch as the garden grows from green shoots to wondrous plants giving glorious tomatoes, corn and peppers. But Gary doesn’t seem the least bit interested in shooing away the crows that steal a bite here and there. I must get to my garden.
Now the sun sets earlier, the leaves start to turn yellow. This is the time I need to be busy. Why am I still in the garage? I need to be in my garden. My job is to stop the invaders bent on stealing all those vegetables.
But they take me out to the front porch. This is wrong. Take me to my garden, Gary isn’t doing his job. The ruffians will steal all the produce with him guarding. I’m stationed at the front door as a decoration. Humiliated, I stand guard. For weeks I wait. The birds come to pick at me, day after day. I can do nothing. It seems I’m demoted.
All over the neighborhood I see inflated scarecrows and pumpkins. Mockery of the real things. This must be stopped. So one night I take my chance. I take a step, like I’ve observed these weeks of waiting by the front door. The mail person delivering to the mail drop, humans going in and out the front door. I take a tentative step away from my post, then I am free. Seems my tether wasn’t that tight after all.
I see the imitation pumpkins, scarecrows, witches, goblins. They are lit from inside and blowing to and fro. How is it possible? I soon find that they’re powered with some air blowing machine. I find a piece of straw in my arm to use as a weapon. Soon all the inflated icons are nothing more than flat blobs of polyester on brown yards. My self-appointed task done, I move back to my post.
Night after night I prowl the neighborhoods. Since I am no longer guardian of the garden, I’ll now guard my world from artificial scarecrows, pumpkins and witches. I keep the world safe from the inane, the banal.
My last night, before the tricksters roam the streets, Witch Marie appears. She tells me my work here is done. I’ve fought the good fight, but the world’s power is greater. Idiocy will win. She invites me to climb on her broomstick. We sail away into the night and leave Gary the gnome in that garden forever. I’ll miss the tricksters tonight, but I left them a little treat in my honor, a dead crow on the porch.