Adventures in Bamboo Ninjas

As many of you know, I like my little cottage – the house I’m renting while I write my thesis. Sure, it has its fair share of insect life: what self-respecting cottage doesn’t? But I like that it’s tiny, with whimsical french windows and doors. It has has window boxes which are woefully neglected, but doggedly continue to sprout loyal flora. It’s quiet, shady and secluded. Or at least it was, until the Bamboo Ninjas arrived on Monday morning.

My lovely cottage – perfect idyll for aspiring princesses and linguists.

Apparently, the bamboo grove along the wall of my yard started making trouble in my neighbourhood. Since I don’t have an Auntie and Uncle in Bel Air, another solution needed to be found. You see, thanks to the “ignore and neglect” method of gardening, espoused by both my landlady and myself, the bamboo had flourished, and towered above the 3-storey building next to me. Sadly, this meant that my neighbours couldn’t open and close their windows without getting a room full of bamboo leaves and branches. I can fully understand their displeasure, and why they mentioned it to my landlady.

Pay no attention to the cat in the basket. Check out the gorgeous bamboo grove behind her.

On Monday, a blue truck arrived, full of ninjas. Some sticklers for precision might contend that they weren’t really ninjas, but since they wore full face masks, and carried big swords machetes, and could become completely invisible as they worked, I’m pretty sure they were ninjas.

My yard, full of invisible ninjas chopping down my bamboo.

By Tuesday afternoon, their work was complete. My neighbours can now open and close their windows with ease. My shady, secluded yard is sunny and bright. (The morning sun managed to make its way into my bedroom before 6am.) My leafy grove is a row of 5-foot tall jumbo-grass stubble. My cottage looks like it’s been the victim of a terrible haircut…which may be why you never hear of ninjas retiring and becoming barbers.

The Japanese word age-otori means ‘to look worse after a haircut’. I wonder if it also applies to landscaping done by ninjas?

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