For decades Grass ruled the Yard. Its domain extended from the very foundation of the house all the way to the Back Fence, brooking no dissent from tree, shrub, or perennial. Nothing but grass, a rigid quadrilateral of uniform green, lacking only chalk yard markers, a set of goalposts, and well-heeled alumni tailgating in the driveway.
Two years ago, the New People took possession of the house. They saw the Grass and saw that it was not good. It required weekly mowing with a loud mower that ran on gasoline purchased from terrorists and greedy American oil barons. It required much water to look presentable, water that came from shallow lakes and became scarcer every year. It required annual aerating, fertilizing, and reseeding, endeavors which cost enough to buy a thicket of shrubs from the half-price table. The New People began to speak openly of rebellion.
The Grass scoffed. It was large and tough rooted; the New People were small and armed only with shovels and mulch. At the first incursion, carried out by a ragtag band of Gardenias and Tea Olives, the Grass laughed openly. "Bring 'em on," it said.
The New People were not deterred. They captured more territory and patrolled it with trowels, rooting out the sprigs sent in by the enemy to retake the land. The Grass was persistent, but the New People more so.
Still the Grass remained complacent. The New People had taken some territory at the fringes of its empire but the heartland, the center of the Yard, remained under the hegemony of Grass and all that it stood for. But one day, all that changed. On a single October Saturday, a blow was struck against the Grass that would forever alter the balance of power in the Yard.
One of the New People marched boldly into the heart of the Empire of Grass, laid out a garden hose in an oblong shape and connected this shape to a base established earlier, an outpost known as the Butterfly Garden. Then he took his shovel and commenced to dig.
He scooped up great chunks of sod, piled them into his cart, and wheeled them to his compost pile. When the pile grew too high, and there was yet more sod to deal with, he hit upon a strikingly brilliant yet simple idea. A way to use the enemy to his advantage. Surveying a section of the Yard that he had marked for later conquest, he began laying the sod face down upon the grass--killing grass with grass.
The Green Emperor watched sullenly. The meaning of this was clear. No longer would he rule the Yard unchecked. From now on, his role would be to grow in small spaces between and around the flowerbeds, nothing more than a backdrop to the shrubs and flowers that even now were cheering and tossing their leaves in celebration.