A sparrow died on my porch sometime Sunday. At least, we think it was a sparrow. It lay on its back, showing light red, faintly shimmering highlights under its wings and tail. A very pretty corpse. I planned to move it to the spot by the hose (which I still have not unwrapped from winter: no, I didn't wash the car this weekend) with the bad grade and cover it with dirt I bought from Home Depot to reverse the grade; but by Monday evening it was gone. I don't know about Providence in the fall of a sparrow, but Providence evidently saw to its disposal.
Also on Sunday I got a visit from Brandon's dad. Brandon's dad (named Guy) wanted money. I stepped onto the porch with him and said, "I want to be clear that I didn't ask you to come except for the first time. I'll--"
"You've got good grass," he said, "and it grows quick. And it's harder to cut when it's heavy. It's better to have it done regularly. [My city's] pretty strict about grass. Would you rather pay to have it cut or get a $300 fine?"
"Can I continue?" I said. I have to admit it: I loved saying that. There's so much potential for a power shift in that one phrase. He nodded, and I continued: "I'll pay for this last time since I was going to call anyway, but I don't want you to come unless I ask you."
He said fine, and I wrote him a check and he left. Sometime later there was another knock on the door. I opened, and there was Guy: "Hey, I hadn't realized you didn't call us. I'm willing to let this one go free. Because we came last weekend too. But I'll let it go." I nodded and smiled, and he drove away on his John Deere tractor. He did not give me my check back, indicating that he had no idea what he was talking about--or what I was talking about, either one. At any rate it's clear that it's Guy's lawn-mowing business and Brandon is merely helping out. I'm now in the market for a new lawn mower. Again. God help me. Unless he's too busy burying sparrows.