The sky was a steel gray as I approached the battlefield. There, across from me they stood. Some of the names I knew - Chinese Mulberry, Euonymus, Woody Nightshade, Canadian Thistle - while others were mysterious. Still, I feared them not, for I knew my weapon was fear. Fear, and... amongst my weaponry was... let me come in again...
I feared them not, for I had my weapons at hand - pruning shears, pruning saw, and - of course - my trusty axe. I knew the battle would be difficult, but that glory would be mine if it was victorious.
I moved in strategically at first, long-handled shears in hand, facing my opponents in the rose garden. I snipped off my opponents one by one in precision strikes, clearing the field to face the heavy infantry. Recognizing now that the situation had changed, and not to my advantage, I retreated and regrouped. I cast aside the shears and pulled the pruning saw into service. The saw represents a compromise - more powerful than the shears, but still precise. But it takes time and effort - considerably more than the shears, and so I must watch for attack from behind while I work (Euonymus are known for their surreptitious strikes).
As I clear the field, leaving roses standing, unaccosted now by the encroachment of the scourge of the Chinese Mulberry, I heave a sigh of relief. Even as I do this, I know that, while this battle has passed, the war is not yet over. I look across the yard to the hillside, and gird myself for the next campaign.
Along the hillside the enemy has encamped along multiple locations. As I move in I consider my prior strategy, shears in hand. I march along the hillside, and begin my attack and, moments later, I look back at my arsenal. I toss the shears aside and pick up the axe and begin to swing.
...and swing, and swing. Carmina Burana begins to run through my head1, and I am now a Viking warrior, taking down opponents with my axe like a scythe through sheaves of wheat. There are brief moments when I think "this moment perhaps requires a more subtle tool", but then I swing my axe again, and the thought flees my head as if it had never arrived.
When the dust clears I look about and survey what I have wrought. The bodies of my enemies lay on the battlefield like cordwood2.
The sweat and sawdust drip down my face and I realize it's time to shift gears.
I harness my trusty steed to the wagon and pull around, calling out "bring out your dead". I pile them up and take them around to their final resting place, their future pyre. One valiant foe proclaims he is not dead yet, and attempts escape from the wagon. This is to no avail, and I collect him on the way back. As I return him to the wagon I look at home and wonder - what manner of foe is this?
Seriously - does anyone know what kind of tree this is?
And now, as I cast the last of the fallen on the pile, I know the battle is done. I may see these valiant warriors again one day in Valhalla (or next year, most likely), but for today it is done.
If you gotta do yard work, you may as well have some fun with it.