"Hank, can you go and see who is at the door. I am busy cooking lunch“
“No problem dear” and Hank made his way to see who was there. The Stewart family had only been living in their new home in Switzerland for a few months and were still settling in. When Hank was offered a job in charge of his company office in Europe he jumped at the chance. His family were now living in a small village just outside of Geneva which was ideal. Geneva had a lot of international organisations there and his children could even go to the English school. Things were just perfect, until Hank opened the door and found two Swiss police officers standing there.
“Can I help you officer?” Hank asked.
“Vous parlez français” was the answer, to which Hank told them yes, but not so good and if they could speak english.
“I can speak english” said the other officer. “We have something to discuss with you.”
“Then come in and take a seat” answered Hank.
“We have had some complaints from the neighbours and we have to look into it.”
“Some complaints” and Hank’s wife Jean appeared on the scene. “I just can’t imagine what we have done; or perhaps the children have done something they shouldn’t. I told the two boys to be careful when they were practicing baseball out in the yard, but I am sure they would have told us if a window got broken. Or is it more serious?”
“The problem is to be quite honest, the truck out in your garden.”
“The truck out in my garden? What do you mean?” and Hank was very surprised
“Of course I have an old truck down at the bottom of my garden in the grass. It was going to be thrown away by a colleague of mine. I decided instead of throwing it away, it would be just fine for my boys, so I had it put in the garden. The boys love playing around it: keeps them, occupied in the evenings.”
“Is someone having a problem with the truck” asked Jean
“Yes Mrs. Stewart. Some of the neighbours find it a bit strange.”
“Well I grew up with a truck out in the garden and it was the best thing I had as a boy. I remember my brothers and I playing in the truck. We really had fun. We even learnt a few basics about how they worked. When some of the instruments are still in the truck, just like the one we have now, the boys can play all sorts of games with it.”
“Oh yes, Hank, I remember that truck you had in the garden so well. When we first started dating, well we often spent our time in the truck.”
“That might be Monsieur Stewart, but you see in Switzerland we do not have trucks in our gardens. It somehow does not fit in with the surroundings. The Swiss have certain laws that have to be kept and some of the neighbours are not so happy about your truck.”
“In other words, officer, I should get rid of the truck in the garden.”
It was then that the Stewart sons entered.
“What did I hear there dad, we have to get rid of our truck. We always had a truck in the garden. Life is going to be boring without that truck.”
“Sorry sons, but the police said it just doesn’t fit in this country.”
“I am very sorry Mr. Stewart, but that is the law. I mean how would you feel if in America someone had an old ski lift in their garden? That would definitely look out of place.”
Hank saw that his arguments would lead nowhere and he did not want to have any problems with the Swiss authorities.
The next week-end Hank organised a lorry to remove the truck from the garden. Hank’s neighbours were watching and breathed a sigh of relief. They were glad that the unsightly truck had been removed. There was no telling the damage that it could do to the environment. A rusty old truck was just something they did not want next door. The Stewart boys were sorry to see it go, but Jean and Hank told them that they were now living in another country and had to take the feelings of the people into consideration.
A week later there was another lorry delivery to the Stewart's house. This time an old ski lift cabin was deposited in the garden. The Stewart children were really pleased with this. It even gave shelter from the rain and they had enough room to play and even have a bite to eat now and again.
This time there were no complaints from the neighbours, after all ski lift cabins were something that belonged to the Swiss heritage.
Rita's "Riting" Challenge #8: The Truck