Grendel in Sharon

We had the nursery people in last week to plant a couple of sweet daphne bushes and move a couple of spirea. They sent three people: a couple of middle-aged Anglos and a younger Hispanic. They also sent Grendel, or a modern version thereof.

In the original saga of Beowulf the monster is described as having “stiðra nægla gehwylc, style gelicost, hæþenes handsporu” (or, if you prefer, “steely sockets for the nails / That marked the heathen’s hand-claw, hardened battler’s / Sharp talons terrible”). That’s the best way to describe the modern Grendel also.

All yellow it was, with terrible talons in its tail; rapidly it reached out and wrapped its claw around the base of the bush, hauling it from its hole, then, digging deeper into the dirt, it dropped the daphne in its place. Afterwards, its cruel claw carved out a new space for the spirea, planting it permanently. Meanwhile one man made the monster move at his command while the other workers watched warily.

Well, you get the picture. Beowulf could learn a lesson: don’t tear the arm off the monster, get it to work for you.

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