the mud ball factory

While other kids are at goalie camp, karate camp, and saultos gymnastics camp, our kids are engaged in factory labour.

Production takes place in the gravel section of our backyard where worker Auguste digs down deep with her fingers for dirt to be dunked  into a glass vase full of water. She squeezes and forms the balls of mud to be inspected by Trygve, factory boss.

Trygve’s job is to sit in the red chair atop the fantastic new grassy knoll (a pile of dirt that sprouted which we now so love– best feature in the yard by accident). From his throne he orders the production of mud balls. Once approved (Auguste’s handprint squeezed into each one) worker Auguste marches them one by one to the secret laboratory (behind a bare bush in plain view) where they dry out for 22 hours, according to orders. Many hours of production has formed quite a pile.

Graham, (who we call Gray Ham) our gentle, sophisticated 50-something always-single business friend who occasionally drops off bread to our home,  popped over to deliver some of his garden share. He is the first mud ball customer. Worker Auguste ‘disappeared’ into the secret laboratory to select his perfect dry mud ball while boss Trygve counted the ‘looney’. “Yup, its a dollar all right.”

Gray Ham was instructed to whip it at the side of our house with all his force.  Shazam! The mud ball shattered, exploded!, And left a black circle on the stucco which is still there. Gray Ham said it was very satisfying and well worth the money.  One of the more invigorating activities he has engaged in.

In all this, I neglected to mention that worker Auguste wears a uniform: a shiny silver space suit, homemade from tinfoil.

(below: break time; boss giving orders)

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