Brand new, super-strength staple gun. Check.
Big, heavy, construction-grade staples. Check.
My father-in-law’s wire cutters. Check.
Chicken wire. Check.
Lily sat a few yards away, sitting on the ground near her fairy garden, “sewing” clothes for fairies. Rather, she was making lots of stitches in some scraps of cloth, in the style that you would expect of a five year old just learning to sew.
I settled in and rolled out some chicken wire. “This’ll be the last time those darn rabbits will get into our asparagus patch!” I called to Lily, and immediately realized that I sounded exactly like my mother. Whoa.
As I held the chicken wire up to the boards of the raised bed, I found myself remembering the time I had planted a window box at our apartment on the Upper West Side. Potting soil in bags had had to be delivered, as had trays of pansies, along with the window box itself. You can’t carry that stuff 10 blocks on your own.
Chunk… chunk… chunk… went my staple gun. It was so strong that that there was actually a little bit of kickback each time I pulled the trigger. My arm was getting sore.
I was moving along, stapling my chicken wire, remembering New York, when my stapler stopped working. Staples weren’t coming out, but I knew there had to be plenty left.
I tapped it on the boards of the raised bed. Nothing. I gently tapped it on the ground. Nope. I tapped the bottom of the staple gun with my hand and—–
I stared at my hand. A gigantic construction strength staple was stuck all the way into the fleshy part right below my pinky. Ah! Ah!
In that moment of realization, when I knew what had happened, but it didn’t actually hurt yet, I immediately yanked the giant-size staple right back out. Blood squirted–squirted!–out of my hand, leaving tiny splatters on the side of the garden bed. I stuck my hand in my mouth to stop the blood.
“Mom, you shouldn’t drink your own blood,” Lily said in a sort of eye-roll, mom-is-so-weird tone that she had been experimenting with. She had quietly witnessed the entire thing.
“Lily…” I said as calmly as I could muster. “Will you please go get Daddy?”
“Oh! Do you want a band-aid? I can get a band-aid!” This seemed like a great idea, so off she went.
As soon as she wasn’t looking, I took a closer look at my hand. All that you could see were two little spots–like a rabbit-sized vampire had bitten me. So small, but so painful. And I’m sure it will take a long, long time to heal.