This week I saw a master uncle in action pulling weeds with his niece, and having fun with it.
First, Peter’s not the real uncle, but a neighbor, so the other weed-puller fun-haver, Nina, isn’t his niece.  No matter.
Peter was over at the house with a bunch of other people who came to help out.  Nina’s father has fallen ill, and his colleague organized a barn raising.  A dozen co-workers and friends descended on Nina’s house to work on the plumbing, clean up the yard, fix the irrigation system and even, yes, pull weeds.
While all the flurry of action was happening all around them, Nina and Peter quietly carved out their own corner of the back yard and worked on the weeds.  Peter somehow made an expedition out of the project.
Peter would say, “This one has really long roots,” as he extracted a cheeseweed.  “You need to get the roots, otherwise it just grows back,” he explained to Nina.  Nina was paying attention.
Nina grasped her own cheeseweed, pinched firmly, and pulled sincerly.  Up came the cheeseweed, roots intact, from the moist ground.  She seemed quite satisfied with the result, gauging by the smile she radiated.
“I got all the roots, Peter,” she said, waving the cheeseweed gently in the air.
“Nice work.  I like it when the whole thing comes up like that,” Peter said.
“I like it, too,” Nina agreed.
Then they continued to hunt for more cheeseweed, chatting and pulling and giggling.
Peter led Nina to a huge cheeseweed.  She grabbed and pulled.  Not without a struggle, the cheeseweed yielded. The roots were enormous, six inches long at least, on this one-inch-tall plant.
Nina and Peter gave each other fist bumps in celebration.
When the weeds were all gone, they went into the kitchen to warm up from the chilly, cloudy time outside.  Nina went to tell Mom all about it: cheeseweeds and roots and how you have to get the roots and the giant cheeseweed with the giant roots.
Mom gave Peter one glance, as if to say, “This is your doing, isn’t it?”  Peter pretended not to notice, but grinned just a little.
“Now what are we going to do?” asked Nina.
Peter replied, “We’ll find something.”

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