Ron Leunissen

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The Lawnmower

 Naamloos

‘Today is the day!’ said Harvey Jonson to himself and opened up the door of his shed. After years of saving his monthly allowance, he finally got to ride his new lawnmower.

Harvey was a little man who worked as an accountant in the local supermarket. Stuck in his little office for 8 hours 5 days a week, he was a little noticed man. Not many in the small village actually knew him. He was married to a large woman, Brunhilda. Harvey always had fancied strong women, maybe because he himself was short and weak. How Brunhilda ever came to fancy him, was a big mystery to him still.

Harvey put the cap that came with the lawnmower on his balding head. He already wore the body warmer with the logo of the lawnmower company on it. The body warmer was soft and warm, though a little oversized for him. Harvey didn’t mind; he loved it. Today he wore it for the first time. Harvey pushed the lawnmower out of the shed with much care in order not to damage it on the doorposts. He pushed it on to the grass lawn.

Though Harvey’s salary wasn’t very high, he did own a nice, well-kept house with a big grass lawn on all four sides. Many years ago he managed to purchase this property at a good price. At that time prices were low. Harvey invested all his savings then. For him his home was his castle and Brunhilda was his princess.

Harvey took a last inspection all around the lawnmower before he put himself into the sumptuous seat. This wasn’t just any lawnmower, by no means; it was a henry exiller8, the very top model of the famous henry lawnmower production company. It had the strongest and sharpest blades ever, the most powerful motor and a comfortable seat for the driver. From today Harvey would be mowing his lawn on this superb machine every weekend. This was the very lawnmower he had been dreaming of for many years.

With pride Harvey sat on the lawnmower and looked at the instruments. Start/Stop, Slow/Fast, Fuel, Speed, all functionality was already clear to him because he had studied the manual for the last couple of evenings. He could cite from the top of his head out of the manual by now.

Harvey pushed “START” and the engine started to make a deep powerful sound. One could just hear the great amount of power in the machine. He pushed the speed lever from SLOW to FAST and the blades started to rotate in an ever increasing speed. By now the individual blades weren’t visible any more, and still their rotation speed kept going up. Harvey was thrilled; he never imagined that the henry exiller8 would be this powerful.

As Harvey stopped looking at the rotating blades, he noticed with a shock that his grass lawn was now about 10 feet below him and his lawnmower. The lawnmower kept climbing and before Harvey knew it, he was hovering 30 feet above his house.

He had a clear view of all the houses in his neighborhood and faraway he could see the river that ran next to the village. Curious to see more he leaned a bit forward. At that same moment the lawnmower started to fly forward. First it moved slowly; then faster and faster as Harvey leaned over the steering wheel of his lawnmower.

Harvey turned the steering wheel a little to the right and was thrilled to notice that the lawnmower responded by turning slightly to the right. He steered to the left, and the lawnmower followed his instructions without any problem.

Excited Harvey flew over his village in the direction of the river. The wild river was tamed through surrounding dikes. Before they had the dikes, the river used to overflow major parts of the village yearly. But that was all history now.

As Harvey had been following the river for a couple of miles, he noticed something strange next to the dike. He reduced his speed at let the lawnmower fly closer to that odd looking spot. As he got closer he realized with a shock that he was looking at a pool of water that grew with considerable speed. ‘The dike is leaking’ he cried to himself. ‘My village is in danger, I must warn the people immediately’.

Harvey gave the speed lever a big push and let the motor give all the power it had. The lawnmower climbed again and Harvey leaned forward as far as he could to let the lawnmower fly back to the village as fast as it could.

As he reached the town center he landed his lawnmower in front of the town hall. He rushed into the building, climbed the wooden stairs and hurried into the mayor’s office. ‘The dike is about to break!’ he cried.

As of that moment all went as if it was in a dream. The mayor called the governor, the governor called the national guards, the guards organized trucks with sand and bulldozers, and the bulldozers repaired the leaking dike before it brook and before it could do any damage to the village.

It was sunny day as Harvey stood on the stairs of the town hall. Many villagers were gathered in front of the building watching the ceremony to come. Next to Harvey stood the mayor and on his other side stood Mr Henry, president to the henry lawnmower production company. The mayor had just finished his speech in which he had praised Harvey for his courage and thanked him for saving the village from a major disaster.
Just as the mayor took the shiny medal out of the box to pin it on to Harvey’s chest, Harvey noticed his beloved Brunhilda wading through the crowd on the town square. As she came closer he saw that she was saying something to him. She came closer and closer, and at last Harvey heard her yell ‘Wake up, you old fool! You’ve been sleeping on that machine long enough now!’

 

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