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A hole is to dig : a first book of first definitions (Book, ) []

I have, and as far as my lower back was concerned, four times was three times too many. A good grower will also have kept the levels of organic fertilizing matter high, making the a hole is to dig soft, spongy and responsive to the turning spade.

Other garden implements flatter to deceive. The spade, for all its sharp and neat lines, is redundant when even the smallest stone, cushioned by compacted subsoil, renders its slicing motion ineffectual.

But a hole is to dig the mattock from the toolshed and slinging it over your shoulder as you march off in the direction of the ground you intend to break represents not only a commitment but also a recognition of the work entailed.


If you really want to get close to the past, as close as you can possibly get, then take a patch of unforgiving land and attempt to feed yourself from it. Doing so opens a window into the eternal struggle of human existence. Breaking ground, I felt, brought me viscerally into direct contact with the past.

What I a hole is to dig was to dedicate the time and effort to recreating my own version of them. So what is a mattock?


Dating back to the Bronze Age, a mattock resembles a pickaxe but with wider blades of similar size set in opposing planes at either end of its head. On one side a vertically set blade acts as a kind of axe while the horizontal blade opposite takes more the form of an adze.

Mattocking the ground is a relentless process. Working in three-foot strips, you gradually plod your way up and down the plot.

A Hole Is To Dig by Krauss, Ruth

Each clod broken free of the ground is the result of lifting a seven-pound block of iron above your head and bringing it crashing down, shattering the earth beneath your feet. The a hole is to dig stings into the creases around your eyes and a numb, a hole is to dig twinge develops in your lower back.

This is a job that tames you. Having started out with all the vigor of youth, boldly hammering away at the ground, you very quickly tire. The swinging motion becomes wilder and less controlled as your muscles weaken.

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Choosing not to dwell too long on that, you then start again. Gradually your pace slows and, like a horse brought in from the plains, you are tamed into the work.

A Hole Is to Dig – Kinder Books

You resign yourself to it. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Your breaks are regular, but short. You give yourself enough time to straighten up, stretch your back and clean the blades of the mattock with your raw hands.

A hole is to dig in the field, at the actual point of excavation, has strange parallels with basic agricultural digging. In most modern scenarios a machine would be used to dig out, say, a six by six-foot-square pit.

But if that six by six-foot-square pit just so happens to be a medieval midden pit, packed with precious archaeological data, then it can only be excavated by hand.

I understand that Ms.

Office Baroque

Krauss had children make suggestions and revisions before completing this little novelty. And with the exception of one minor issue with matches, the content is still up-to-date.


Anyone with young ones will realize in a heartbeat that the wordag This small book with its celery green cover and whimsical but simple drawings is a must-have for the adult with a hole is to dig children. Anyone with young ones will realize in a heartbeat that the wordage comes from children: Does it get any better than this?

And the illustrations by Maurice Sendak.

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