This week’s words to play with:
calyx [the sepals of a flower, typically forming a whorl that encloses the petals and forms a protective layer around a flower in bud|a cup-like cavity or structure, in particular|a portion of the pelvis of a mammalian kidney|the cavity in a calcareous coral skeleton that surrounds the polyp|the plated body of a crinoid, excluding the stalk and arms] obscure solicit lurid box-cutter [a thin, inexpensive razor-blade knife designed to open cardboard boxes] suede gloves dilettante [a person who cultivates an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge] glisten espionage drop box [(in weaving) a box situated on either side of the race plate of the loom that is designed to hold shuttles and to bring bobbins of colored thread in line as desired|a secured receptacle into which items such as returned books or videotapes, payments, keys, or donated clothing can be deposited] whisper bounty
Calister, the gardener, arrived promptly each Thursday. He didn’t say much but mowed, pruned, edged, swept and raked and generally made the place look sensational.
He worked hard and each week took home a calyx of petals from the ones he’d pruned. His wife mixed them in with the salad and if nothing else the laxative effect provided evidence of their slim figures.
He did such a fine job his business thrived and at the same time generated a degree of professional jealousy.
His opposition in the gardening business was Parkinson, a man who bragged of his gardening ability, who wore suede gloves and who left lurid notes in Calister’s client’s letterboxes claiming he could do a far better job and for less.
His soliciting did work on some but not on us. We knew that he was nothing more than a dilettante evidenced by the job he did on the Avery’s garden where it was clear he had used a box-cutter on their prize roses, claiming they needed a good prune anyway.
Everything that glistens is not gold I heard Calister say to my father as they stood admiring the roses in our garden.
Calister liked working in our garden as we had some obscure varieties of plants and there had been whispers that Parkinson had put a bounty out for anyone who might be able to acquire, by whatever means, seed from some of our plants. Parkinson hinted he had a drop box should anyone want to make a quick dollar by leaving the seeds for him.
But Calister was quick to diffuse such a whisper as espionage was a favourite pastime of his and he conducted some counter-espionage of his own resulting in Parkinson suffering a very severe gastric issue after touching a seed variety Calister had left in his drop-box.
Calister smiled as he told my father and made sure we all pulled on our suede gloves before touching anything.