The scene is a barn more than 2000 years ago. A newborn baby sits in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes. Next to him is his glowing mother, Mary. His nervous father, Joseph, paces nervously back and forth. As he paces, his accidentally steps on the tines of a rake, which flips up and smacks him in the face.
“Jesus Christ!” he exclaims.
“You know,” Mary says, “I like that better than Herman!”
Something quite similar happened to me last night. As I mowed the tall, scraggly spring weeds and grass last night for the first time this season atop our John Deer lawn tractor, I heard an ugly grinding/struggling sound from the deck below me, followed by the whole machine grinding to a halt. I shut off the blade and the engine started right up, but attempting to reengage the blades resulted in the same halting grind.
As I drove to the garage I saw a piece of metal dragging the ground. I lifted the deck and raised the ejection chute to find the mangled remains of a rake I left near the garden when I was burning the brush pile last month. When I left it there, I could clearly see it, but the grass and weeds had grown high enough to hide it completely.
I pulled out the twisted lawn implement and photographed it, then started the mower and felt very relieved when the blades roared to life, undamaged. I finished mowing.
It was a beautiful night, and I made a few pictures at dusk.