Petronella and Hans, her neighbour across the road, were not exactly friends.
He had already twice called her an ?old bag? to which she had indignantly replied:
?You?ll never find your shoes under my bed.?
The crunch came when she found the porcelain number plate on her wall broken, and
the pieces lying under the post box.
Hans happened to be on his verandah at the time.
?Serves you right!? he shouted, his shoulders shaking with mirth.
?Did you do this?? screamed Petronella.
?You?ll never know, will you?? he taunted.
Petronella was furious. Get her own back she would, but how, exactly?
That night, her son Willem, arrived with a big tray of cold meat, leftovers from a staff
?There?s enough here to feed an army,? he said.
Petronella came up with the most wonderful idea. She cut the meat into tiny pieces, there
was nearly a bucketful.
She waited until dark, checked that all his blinds were closed, then made her way
through her front gate and crossed the road.
Hans had a garden laid out alongside the pavement. On that day he had
planted a variety of seedlings- petunias, marigolds and asters, all in neat rows.
She scattered the meat from one end of the garden patch to the other, then silently made
her way home.
She sat up all night, listening. The unmistakable sound of dogs snarling and fighting
came to her ears. At daylight she ventured out and peeped over the wall
Hans was crouched over his flowerbeds ? if you could call them that, for there
was no longer a plant to be seen. It look as if a spiked moon buggy had rolled over the
patch. Bits and pieces of greenery were strewn all over.
He saw her over the fence and waved a fist in the air.
?Did you do this?? he shouted.
?You?ll never know, will you?? came the sweet reply. ?You?ll never know.?