Garden Gnome Guilt

 Seen here before his ordeal.
Moosey Garden Gnome - Before

I'd never dare google-search for 'garden gnomes'. I've had enough trouble keeping tabs on my own real-life gnome, missing from his garden duties for months. Missing - or worse. Could this older-lady gardener be guilty of gnomicide?

My one garden gnome went AWOL when a group of singing ladies visited the garden last Christmas. It wasn't due to gnomic shyness - it was completely my fault. Confession time. I didn't want my visitors to see him because his paint was peeling and his beard was far too grubby. The Moosey garden gnome was obviously not getting the necessities of life.

To save myself from shame and embarrassment I 'hid' him in the rockery. Standing on the edge of an old bathtub, my hebes would hide him from prying eyes. But my story of gnome-neglect gets worse. Months later, when I came to seriously search for him, I couldn't remember exactly what I'd done. A few guilty moments were spent peering underneath greenery and behind rocks - I even checked inside the old dog kennel. No luck. No gnome.

Oops. One day I remembered standing him on the edge of the old bathtub. Then I realised the awful truth. He must have fallen into the bathtub, which was full of murky water - and tadpoles. So what did I do? Absolutely nothing. My worst fear was that he might have dissolved into a featureless lump. Eek! Better to wait until all the tadpoles were gone.

 Drying out on Willow Bridge.
Moosey Garden Gnome - After

Out of sight, out of mind, I flirted (briefly) with the idea of a cheap made-in-china replacement, bright red cheeks and a snow-white beard. But I'd taken my garden gnome on for better or for worse. So a few weeks ago I shut my eyes tight, apologised to the remaining tadpoles, and fished him out.

 Careful, little chap!
Back at the Scene of the Accident

Green, Slimy, and Intact

Phew! He was OK - that same bland facial expression, those peeling trousers, faded jacket buttons. Submerged for nearly a year, the Moosey garden gnome, green, slimy, but intact, survived. Perhaps some freshly painted clothes would compensate him for his ordeal...