The Watering Can

The two-gallon, galvanized watering can looked out of place sitting in the open on the otherwise manicured front yard. The house behind it sat on an level two acre plot. A white two-story Colonial with a slate roof and copper gutters, the house had the traditional black shutters accompanying each window. The first floor was raised slightly allowing for basement windows which were well hidden by the encircling shrubbery. The three steps and a landing giving access to the front door were all granite and covered by a portico in the federal style.

The property was rectangular, twice the length as its depth. The house, similarly proportional to the property also sat length-wise to the street. A neatly manicured lawn stretched fifty feet from the house to the curb, interrupted only by a large Sycamore, three rock gardens, and the slate walkway that stretched from the sidewalk to the front door. Up the left side of the property sat the cobblestone driveway which, after its fifty foot run-up, turned right and sloped down, down, below grade-level and into the basement garage atop which sat the home’s library. The edging along the granite walkway and on either side of the drive was clean and crisp, as if it had been tended by professionals. Given the neighborhood, one would find it most unlikely that the owners would have the time or inclination to perform this maintenance themselves.

But that can, that galvanized watering can, sat in the dappled shade under the Sycamore tree in the front yard not ten feet from the largest rock garden. From the street, one could clearly see that grass had grown up around it. The grass was high enough to lead one to the conclusion that it had not been moved for at least three mowings. And if one were to lift the can, they would expect to see the grass underneath white and dying from a lack of sunlight. This lone, disjointed, unkempt resident greeted passersby in this coiffed Greenwich neighborhood; no clue left as to how or why it was so glaringly exempt from the ministrations given the rest of the land.

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