Painting the Gate

 My Moonman is a bit of a closet nudist. It is perfectly normal for him to tootle around his garden au naturel. Today, he decides, while he’s out there and the weather is good, he’ll give the gate a quick coat of varnish. Whistling happily, Moonman starts painting the inside of the gate, enjoying the warmth of the sun on his back. And other bits. The birds are chirping, there’s a light breeze – life is good. He settles into a meditative state, mesmerised by the rhythm of his paintbrush.

When this side of the gate is finished, Moonman decides he may as well do the street side as well, while he’s got the varnish out. He opens the gate and starts painting again. Now the sun warms him from a different angle, and he relaxes into his work. It’s a sleepy morning, the suburb is quiet and peaceful.

A car cruises past Moonman’s gate. The driver hoots at him. Looking over his shoulder, Moonman gives a friendly wave, thinking how nice it is to live in a town where people still greet one another in the street.

Another car comes past. They hoot too. But they hoot a little louder and longer, and Moonman hears one of the passengers shouting something through the window. He wonders what they wanted to say, but they’ve driven off already.

“Oh well,” he thinks.

As he dips his paintbrush into the tin, he looks down.

“Oops,” he says. “I guess that’s why they were hooting…”


Erica Neser (c) 2012


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