Spectator? Participator? Instigator?
The old man sat on the terrace his eyes closed. The throbbing purr of the mini-digger sounded like some very large, contented lion. Rob the driver was telling Jake the plumber, who was in the trench, to saw through the large root from the acacia tree that was stopping the digger scooping out more trench. The old man opened his eyes and saw his friend Dave, owner of terrace and trench, holding out a black bow saw to Jake. It cut through the shoulder thick root easily enough. Now to the purring of the lion was added the clunk, thunk of heavy metal meeting mother earth and the trench lengthened along the orange line that Jake had sprayed on the lawn.
It was time to stop being a spectator. He decided he'd stroll back to his place and cut the grass before lunch.
By noon the next day the new water pipe had been laid, the trench filled in and the digger was back on its trailer, job done. Dave told him that they had hit a patch of large flint rocks. Rob reckoned it was probably these same rocks that, with the earth's continual swelling and shrinking, were responsible for the old pipe getting the leak.
Earth, iron, stone, hand.
No children's game, cut and thrust.
With purpose men move.