ELF VOCABULARY

Elf language is often full of obscure references. Here is a guide to Greengrass speak.

BOGGART: A hedgerow pixie that delights in winding up groundsmen

GRAVE-DIGGING: The criminal act of marking the square or outer field

TRACTOR: A magical watering device discovered by Rowli the dark-arts wizard

YELLOW YEAR: When the sap fizzles from the grass and the earth is parched (1976/2018)

THE GRAVE DIGGERS (Early July '18)

He came yesterday, the man who cares for the grass. He speaks to it and his words are gentle. When other humankind come, I listen. There is sometimes anger in his words and often one of his cheeks is extended by his tongue. I heard him say that “ the ends were level at the start but very dry and dusty. I marked the pitch and had a quick brew and watched the start of the game. A 'big for their age group' young chap marked out his run up at the 'Post Lane End'. This consisted of some very delicate 'one foot in front of the other' measuring from the crease, and ended a long way back from the stumps. He then began the scraping with his size 10, in what looked like an attempt to replicate the Caldon Canal, to mark the start of his run up on the outfield.

A short while later the umpire called 'Play' and this young chap started in for the first delivery. He stood on his 'Trench' and then walked in several paces and then burst into a combination between a rendition of Monty Python's Ministry of Funny Walks and a world record attempt at the Triple Jump. He did all of this slightly differently on each subsequent delivery. A charming young man I'm sure, but some coaching could be focussed on shortening his run and working on rhythm, rather than practising for a career in long distance travel and excavation.

I returned to the club about 2pm. The plan was to set up the Tractor going across

the square, and then pop back about 9pm to move it to the other half of the square, so that the entire square would be watered by this morning. The christening that had started in the morning was still going on with plenty of people and kids around, so I thought it best to not leave the Tractor sprinkling as it may attract children and ruin someone's day if the kids got soaked in water whilst wearing their Sunday best. I did have a quick look at the u13 pitch post game. The death toll in the poverty stricken part of the village, sadly, must have been high this last week, as the undertakers had obviously ordered two mass graves, one at either end of the pitch. We should fit several cadavers into each of those.

On a serious note I was reading an article online from the ECB, as addressed to the country's premier leagues, in relation to their ground inspection committees. It was referring to Child Welfare Officers' reports and concerns about young players. A number of youngsters, allegedly, have been struck down with shin splints, muscle tears and knee strains, whilst having to manually excavate loam to mark bowling run ups and batting guards. This has led the ECB, working with physiotherapists and JCB, to update the requirement of club equipment, as inspected annually by the Grounds Committee. Alongside possessing scarifiers, pedestrian mowers and a heavy roller etc, each club must now make accessible on junior match days a Mini Digger for use by each bowler and batsman. These can be acquired via Ebay for about £7,000 second hand. A very small price to pay for the peace of mind that our treasured young ones are being protected and cared for." Ah but not just the young humans, I have seen the bearded also abuse and bruise the grass.The grass will not be good to them when they are below it.

THE BOGGARTS ARE UPON US (Early July '18, the heatwave)

I didn’t sleep well last night. Something was niggling at the back of my mind. Something at Post Lane wasn’t quite right.
I tried to rouse myself with a splash of first-light dew and it dawned on me to wander down to the Caldon to break the fast with my old friend ‘Clenchy’, the Grump-Troll who patrols the Post Bridge. His real name isn’t Clenchy. It’s a name we call him after he developed a greed for ragwort and slug soup, which has played havoc with his Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Clenchy, aftersome thought, and a prolonged incident of flatulence, begrudgingly agreed that something was amiss. We pondered further and then we both came to the same conclusion. A travelling family of Boggarts had settled in somewhere within Stanley Bank dell and dark deeds were afoot. The Boggart is a particular malevolent type of Pixie that thrives upon mischief and dastardly deeds becoming ever more active in the very dry and hot spells that, in yellow years, follow the Solstice.
One of the Boggart’s especially roguish acts involves the adding of potions to the Ryegrass pollen, such that the pollen not only irritates the eyes and respiratory systems of humans, but also intoxicates them and leads them to do all sorts of foolish things.

This can include playing on the cricket square outside the timescales of an official and scheduled match, jumping through the water spray of a hard-working 'Tractor' and can even see humans riding across the square on bicycles on a Friday evening. Other humans, usually adults, may not be enchanted enough to actually become involved in these activities, but they are duped enough to not recognise these actions as extraordinary, and so continue with their socialising, oblivious to the mayhem, whilst the Boggarts giggle uncontrollably from the thicker hedgerows.
Something must be done.
The only way to break the trance is for those humans present, and still not beyond their own control, to march with purpose and vigour towards the perpetrators and, at an appropriate distance, bellow with all the volume that their lungs will allow, the sacred words from the ancient ones …
"Admontio.Sanctificetur terram nostram liberam relinquere paroecialem" or for those a bit short of breath, “Oi … GET OFF THE SQUARE”.
We may fight this blight by following Rowli of the Dark Arts who offers instruction to ATR level ( Advanced Trance Removal ). This involves the well documented ‘Good Wizard, Bad Wizard’ technique where a thorough De-Boggarting is achieved with an apparent softly, softly approach and a warm disarming smile.