He went out on his porch and couldn’t believe his eyes. Even after his warnings, the paving stones were still there. He felt anger rise in him, but then he stopped. Like a professional chess player, he calculated every possible outcome and played it out in his head. Suddenly his stern mouth relaxed and a slow grin spread across his face.
He knew what to do with his bold neighbor. Satisfied, he leaned back and waited. “Karma will take care of it,” he whispered, giggling to himself. And oh man, was he right?
Miles was a humble man. He had worked hard for everything he had in his life. He had been a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. Now, in his golden years, he was content to sit on his porch.
He would look out over the beautiful nature reserve that bordered his new estate and was in a quiet old-age village in the country. But when he peered into his neighbor’s yard, he became increasingly annoyed.
Miles looked again from his tiny back yard at his neighbor. His neighbor’s yard stretched a good eight feet beyond his – it was by far the largest lot on the estate. How was that possible?
At first he assumed the man had just got lucky or could afford a bigger piece of land. But it wasn’t long before he knew what his neighbor was really up to.
A touch of envy
Miles was a kind man and he quickly made friends with all of his new neighbors and exchanged phone numbers – including the man with the largest back yard. He felt a mixture of envy and admiration.
He saw that the man also owned a cherry red sports car – something he could never afford. Still, he was satisfied with his little piece of paradise. Until a fateful day.
On the day in question, Miles happened to look over and saw his neighbor doing something strange. The man paced up and down on purpose and walked the length of his property with an expression of dissatisfaction.
He disappeared for a few minutes and then returned with a wheelbarrow full of expensive cobblestones. He started laying them down one by one, but then did something that made Miles double up.
Lay the plaster
The man started laying the pavement from his front door. After a few hours and a lot of ups and downs, he had paved his entire back yard – right down to the old fence posts that marked the boundary between his property and the reservation.
Then he made a movement that dropped Miles’ jaw. When he found it, he knew that was enough, it was time to act. Miles had to come up with something.
A brave step
Miles watched as his neighbor brazenly trudged over to the rickety fence posts and tore them out one by one. Then he moved it back two feet – back into reserve – and began beating it again.
Miles couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Now he knew why the man had such a huge backyard! He knew he had to do something.
Destroy the peace
The man began clearing the land to make way for his cobblestones when Miles approached him. He walked up to him and gently asked the man to stop what he was doing.
After working for the National Park Services, Miles believed that his neighbor may not have been fully aware of the implications of his activities. But then all hell broke loose.
Miles had barely managed to get a word out when his neighbor rudely cut him off. He turned to him aggressively and started screaming. “You are new here. I’ve been here ten years, ”he spat. “Mind your own damn business!”
Miles didn’t need to be notified twice. He left without another word and decided that pushing the problem with the defender wouldn’t get him any further. But maybe there was another way to make it understandable.
What could he do?
Miles clenched his fists helplessly and watched the man complete his paving – effectively adding another two feet to his yard. Could he stand idly by as the reserve he loved was slowly destroyed by the bold man?
He must have been doing this for years … where would it end? Then suddenly he realized that he didn’t have to do anything. All he had to do was watch it all play out.
Wait and watch
Miles watched and waited for a year. It was summer again and the reserve was incredibly quiet. Many of the park’s residents had traveled north for their summer vacation.
This including his rude neighbor. He wasn’t planning any revenge. He had a strong feeling in his stomach that karma was about to knock. And it did.
One bright morning Miles was sitting on his porch enjoying the sunshine when the county came to look at the reservation. And when they saw Miles ‘neighbors’ back yard, they weren’t impressed.
Miles watched them pace, then pulled out cards, took photos, and made calls. Then more people showed up.
It turns out Miles’s neighbor has been doing this for years … pulling out the border fence posts but seizing land whenever he saw fit. He had put down the new cobblestones.
This was so that he could park his golf cart and cherry red sports car outside while he was away for the summer. The county had to move them before they did anything else, so they posted a note on the man’s door and left.
Miles approaches the news curiously. It is said that the man violated protected area entry and had 30 days to move his car, tear up the cobblestones and pay a $ 11,000 fine.
The fine is for damage to protected species that inhabit the protected land and for entering. But there was more to the situation than meets the eye.
Failure to comply within 30 days would result in the golf cart and sports car being towed and confiscated, and the paving stones being dug up and carted away at the man’s expense.
In addition, the fine is increased for each day after the deadline. Miles smiled to himself. Should he call his neighbor? That question was in his head as he smiled.
The month passed and the man has still not returned from his summer home. Just a week after the deadline, Miles was facing quite a show. He leaned back and watched them unceremoniously move the golf cart.
Then they came back for the cherry red sports car. After towing both vehicles, they began ripping out the fence posts one by one. He had tried to warn him, but it was too late for that now. All he could do was sit back and watch Karma do its work.
Get to work
Then the cobbles were torn out and pulled away, and the old rickety fence posts and ropes were replaced with new ones. This time they were replaced by metal posts with steel cables embedded deep in the ground with concrete.
There was no way they would ever be moved now. The process took weeks, and Miles’ rude neighbor was no wiser. During his absence, his place was destroyed.
When the contractors finished their work, the reserve was secured behind steel. Solar-powered cameras have even been installed to remotely monitor wildlife. And the notices on the neighbor’s door grew every week.
Miles waited for his neighbor to return home with a mixture of joy and worry. He was definitely surprised. He hoped the man would learn something from it.
It was November when the man finally returned. Miles was on another show. He watched as he turned into the driveway and walked to the front door, which was now adorned with clues.
The man read them one by one with an incredulous look before digging up the first note. Then he ran into his back yard and started screaming.
The man rushed back to his car to get his cell phone, then called the county to find out where his sports car and golf cart were, and unleashed a torrent of curses in his blind rage.
Miles watched quietly from the window and smiled to himself. He knew this was what the man deserved, he didn’t think it could have got any better. But the poetic justice of it all was yet to come.
Three days later, the man confronted Miles asking if he was there when the county “stole his car and destroyed his back yard.” Miles replied that he saw it all.
“Well, why didn’t you call me when you saw them post notices on my door ?! You had my number in the north! Miles paused before answering. He said he thought about calling but thought it would be best if he “got on with his own damn business.”