A Garden War
The lawn gnome with the green hat ducked down behind the bush and started to crawl. His hat color might have been the reason he was chosen for this mission, but he had the skills to back it up. He peered through the spot where the leaves were a bit thinner. There they were.
Just as reported, the pink plastic invaders were standing in the sunniest parts of the lawn. They acted like they belonged there. The lawn gnome frowned. This was not good news. He turned and crawled back to the command center.
Everyone was waiting in the shady part of the yard behind the bird bath. “Is it true?” squeaked the tiny lawn gnome with the bright blue hat. “Are there invaders trying to claim our yard?”
The gnome with the green hat nodded. The other lawn gnomes began to speak all at once. “Quiet,” said a raspy voice from the darkest corner of the yard. Everyone stopped speaking. The oldest lawn gnome, chipped and worn to the point that his hat had no color, shuffled into the middle of the gathering. “Tell us exactly what you saw,” he said.
Everyone turned and waited. Green Hat cleared his throat. “Well,” he began, “There are five spread out in the sunniest part of the lawn. They are shiny and new and made of plastic, with a long metal leg. I couldn’t see any others.”
“They’re claiming the best spots and leaving us to the shadows,” Little Blue Hat yelled. “Let’s get them!”
“Their metal legs might be sharp,” Green Hat said.
Red Hat gasped. “What if they scratch my paint? I’m new.”
The lawn gnomes all began speaking at once again. “Quiet,” Oldest Gnome said again. “I think Green Hat has an idea.”
All the gnomes turned to look at Green Hat once again. He swallowed. “What about a night raid?” he asked. “If they’re out in the sun, they’re probably not nocturnal.”
“We’ll surround them and knock them all over! That’ll show them,” Little Blue Hat said. He waved his tiny fists in the air.
“If we’re quiet enough, they won’t even know we’re there,” Green Hat said.
“It’s a plan,” Oldest Gnome said. So, for three nights in a row, the lawn gnomes snuck up on the plastic flamingoes and knocked them over. For two mornings in a row, the birds were back standing in their usual spot when the Green Hat went to check on them.
On the third morning, they weren’t there. Green Hat snuck around to the side yard, just to be sure they were gone. He crawled under the lilac bush and peeked through the Iris leaves. There they were, glinting in the sunlight, knee-deep in the ornamental pond. This was bad news.
“They’ve retreated to the pond,” Green Hat said.
Everyone started talking at once until hushed by Oldest Gnome. “There is nothing more we can do,” he said. “We cannot enter the pond.”
“We’d sink!” said Little Blue Hat.
“Or ruin our paint,” said Red Hat.
“We can let them claim the pond. We have no use for it,” Oldest Gnome said.
“I’ll continue to patrol,” Green Hat said. “If they leave the pond, we’ll be ready for them.” The Lawn Gnomes cheered. The yard was theirs again. Sort of.