for Stephen

There is nothing to do in the graveyard!
Other people mow the grass and water the trees.
No one ever wants to visit the guy who lives in the graveyard.
Especially when he doesn’t wear a shirt!
“I can’t help it,” Klaus moans when he goes to bars. “Shirts make me break out in a painful rash.”
No one wants to talk to Klaus in bars, either!
“I need to make friends,” says Klaus.
When he comes downstairs he finds a woodworking table in the middle of his living room.
On the table are instructions on how to make lawn gnomes.
“Lawn gnomes give me the creeps,” mutters Klaus and goes for a walk.
But creepy company is better than no company at all, so the next day he makes a gnome.
It takes all day.
“Friend!” says the gnome, when he’s finished.
Klaus screams and drops the gnome, who splinters into kindling. “Sorry,” he mutters, as he builds up the fire.
The next gnome is better.
And the next.
And the next.
And the next…

By the end of the month there is a gnome for every gravestone.
“Friends,” say the gnomes, their painted smiles wide and jolly.