The Tale of Hazzen Trowbridge

I published this on the old forums a long time ago and recently found a copy archived away, so I figured it was worth sharing. Fingers crossed you enjoy it!

Hazzen the Apprentice Gardener.

Back in the 1970s, there was a young lad named Hazzen Trowbridge. Hazzen was a harmless, skinny fella who was slowly reaching his age of maturity. Problem was, Hazzen was a laybout. A slacker. A bone idle good-for-nothing. He would sit at home and stare at the walls. Or sit outside and stare at the sky. Sometimes he would sit in the local caff, and stare at his egg-bacon-two-soss. To be blunt, he did nothing.

On his eighteenth birthday, Master Trowbridge declared that his son should get a job. He had no education to speak of, so Hazzen was forced to learn a trade. Under his father’s steely eye, Hazzen was foistered on the tradesmen and craftsmen of his home town of Woking. The Master Butcher said he was too sloppy to cut meat. The Master Capenter said he was too weak to saw wood. The Master Goldsmith said he was too clumsy to jewelcraft. The Master Cobbler said he was too shoddy to make shoes. Even the master Chef wouldn’t take him on after he ate most of the food. No, it seemed that Hazzen was destined to remain jobless forever.

However, Master Trowbridge was a man of determination and would not give up on his son so easily. He scoured the county looking for a person to take his son on. But refusal after refusal took its toll on the old gent, and he feared his son would remain jobless and unskilled for ever.

But one day, all that changed. Master Trowbridge was reading his newspaper, when he spied an advertisment for an apprentice. Mr Bugle, the Master Gardener, was looking for someone to train up and help him look after the estates of Lord Woking. Thinking that this would be his last chance to find employment for his son, Master Trowbridge sent young Hazzen off to Mr Bugle to learn how to become a gardener.

To everyone’s surprise, Hazzen took to the job well. He liked to watch the plants grow. He liked to mow the lawns. He even liked to plant the shrubs, and before long had learned all the basics of looking after a garden. The town followed the progress of Hazzan eagerly as he grew his skill and developed a tasteful eye for his craft. After a while the small town of Woking was ablaze with talk of how the young man was becoming a fine gardener in his own right. He became particularly renowned for his cutting edge design and modern style.

Things really came into their own for Hazzen when Mr Bugle decided it was time for him to submit an entry into the Southern Counties Show. This presdigious event could be the highlight of Hazzen’s gardening career. His task for the show would be to build and tend to a small garden exhibit at the show. Accepting the honour of being given a chance to compete, he set at the ghallenge with gusto and fervor. He worked tirelessly on creating the perfectly manicured garden, with not a leaf out of place or a stone unpolished.

Finally, the day of the Show arrived, and all eyes were on Hazzen’s creation. The people were up in arms! The lawn had holes in! The trees had been felled! The flowerbeds had been dug up! Soil and dirt and gravel was everywhere! The public were not pleased.

One of the Officials for the Show came over, and stood in front of the small garden, and asked the people what the problem was.

“It’s a shambles!”
“It’s a mess!”
“It’s broken” they yelled.

The official smiled, brushed his blue suit, and responded.

“But why the outcry? Surely you know this is Woking Hazzen Tended?”

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