Field of Science

A visit from the leaf elves

For those of you who may not know, the Phactors' estate has something like a dozen very large deciduous trees, and this means that our lawns and gardens get buried, deeply, in leaves. Enough leaves that senior citizens don't consider raking them for even a nanosecond. In addition to the raking, dragging heavy tarps loaded with leaves to the curb, when the curb can be 300 feet away, is nothing to be undertaken lightly even though our gardens are both our hobby and exercise program. This is one of those times of year when TPP resents the spandex clad harlequins who jog by, accomplishing nothing but health. So several years ago TPP resorted to renting the Billy Goat, a massive leaf vacuum that sucks up and shreds up to 8 cubic feet of leaves, a not inconsiderable mass to drag away and empty. The problem here is that the recoil starter required a football lineman to repeatedly pull the cord, and with as many leaves as there are, that was a lot of starts. And all that for $80 rental. So, Mrs. Phactor discovered among her clients a fellow who employs leaf elves who visit during the day, when no one is around, and all the leaves disappear! So neat, so clean, and all those leaves piled up so neatly! And elves only cost $50 more than the Billy Goat! OK, you have to leave out some milk and cookies, but that's a small price to pay for not aggravating and old "tennis elbow" injury (no, TPP doesn't play tennis; it was a field trip injury). There was a lot of anticipation because you are never completely sure when the elves may visit. So our excitement is quite genuine. And those clean lawns and gardens, now the envy of the neighborhood, are a terrific gift every year. 

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