The Grass on the Other Side

Untamed Wilderness

Copyright-Janet Webb


For years the adjoining gardens were the neighbourhood’s jewels.  For just as long, green rivalry consumed the two neighbours.

Until one morning Seamus did not mow his lawn.

It was with guilty pleasure that Fred first hesitated from enquiring after Seamus.  The trimmed hedges beyond the fence overgrew into shapelessness.  Then it was embarrassment that stopped Fred.  Months turned the adjoining garden into an untamed wilderness.  Fred’s was the only jewel in the street.  However, compliments were hollow as with time Fred realised that he missed his old rival. But by then, it was too late, Seamus was long gone.

Thanks to Rochelle from Friday Fictioneers, today I bring to you this little verbal concoction.  I thank my brother for helping me trim (chuckle) the extras into a rounded 100 word piece.

38 comments on “The Grass on the Other Side

  1. yebuccaneer says:

    You caught the human condition just right, there, sadly…

  2. Lost in the overgrown lawn. SMH Nicely written.

  3. deanabo says:

    awe. Such a sad story.

  4. I like “green rivalry” which to me seems is closely related to “green with envy” as well as describing why they had a rivalry. I think that sometimes rivals or even enemies have this symbiotic relationship which is something real and almost comforting to them and they only realize how much it means to them when one person is gone, for whatever reason.


    • Sandra says:

      Some people spend a lot of energy hating someone, and when that someone is gone, there is a lot of free space in the other’s heart. Maybe that is why hate is so often assimilated to love.

  5. kz says:

    such a sad story.. i like the little rivalry going on with the neighbors, it’s sweet.. great work

  6. Sandra says:

    I liked this. The idea that someone cared enough to compete but not enough to enquire was disquieting.

  7. Dear Sandra,
    I enjoyed your take on the prompt. I’m certainly getting an education when it comes to the difference between British and American spellings. 😉
    Kudos to your brother for helping. I always try to get a second pair of eyes to proof and critique my stories.

    • Sandra says:

      A second pair of eyes is indispensable sometimes; you get too caught up in your story and too often the obvious mistakes do not jump out at you as they should.

  8. Well written piece with an excellent first paragraph. The reference to “too late” indicates Seamus was alive but incapacitated for a time and Fred might have saved him. Is this so? That would be the ultimate sense of competition trumping friendship to a terrible result. Fascinating concept.

  9. Joe Owens says:

    The rivalry pushed each of them to keep up their half. It is too bad Fred would not inquire about seamus and offer to manage both gardens as a friend. Sometimes we let our pride get in the way. Very true to life tale.

  10. claireful says:

    I liked how you captured a little bit of human nature in your story – hesitating too long, turns to embarrassement, and then it’s too late.

  11. JKBradley says:

    I wonder if Fred will start keeping both gardens. Nice story, thanks for sharing.

  12. billgncs says:

    Hi Sandra – that was a nice piece. It reminds me a bit of Robert Frost poem about good fences make good neighbors.

    • Sandra says:

      I had to go and read to poem after your comment; shame on me but I had never read this poem although I’ve heard the saying many times. I loved it – so thank you for making me aware 🙂

  13. Brian Benoit says:

    A nice commentary about what’s at the heart of a lot of rivalries. Fred seemed like such a full character despite how short the story was!

  14. An interesting story of hesitation and complacency

  15. elappleby says:

    Oh no, how sad! A clever story – especially how Fred delays contacting his neighbour for too long. Great stuff.

  16. That was sad really… And lost forever.. Chilling but very human,

  17. you caught the sentiment and feeling of loss that goes with neglecting a relationship. Nice take on the prompt.

  18. Agree with the other comments, really liked the take on a human frailty taken to a sad end, very effectively written. Good work 😀

  19. Abraham says:

    Very well done. Quite sad. Very realistic, the hollow compliments. What good is winning if your competitor is not able to compete? I really like this story.

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