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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

August 19, 2014

So the garden is finally getting down to business after a remarkably slow start. Lots of green tomatoes, some sizable, others mediocre, oh and squash blossoms galore—it remains to be seen whether Woody Woodchuck will overlook the delicacies so that we might actually have a harvest though. I wasn’t going to plant squash this year, still pouting over past failures in the squash department, but I had a little space, and there was an old packet of seeds—so I thought maybe I’d take the chance some might be viable. Sure enough! Like I said though, Woody may be sending out invitations for a smorgasbord and all we’ll see at the end of the season are gargantuan leaves!
Speaking of which, I cut back some of the wilted yellowing ones that were over-shadowing smaller plants. And you’ll never guess who was hiding underneath one. Yup. It was Bic himself, in all his mischievous glory. He shrunk back behind a prickly vine at first, peeking out warily, his big brown eyes sparkling in the waning sunshine.
“Hi Bic…” I spoke quietly. “It’s just me… you don’t need to be afraid.”
With that, he stepped out bravely, tipping his bright blue cap, and bowing with gentlemanly aplomb. Now who does that remind me of? I smile knowingly.
“So what brings you out to the garden this sunny evening, young man?”
“Just gathering up some seeds here for Mama…” he leans in under the big leaves and pulls out a sizable grass-woven basket, full-to-the-brim of various seeds and nuts.
“That’s quite a find! You’ve been working hard, I see. How will you get that back to MouseHouse before dark, I wonder?”
Now the garden is a fair distance from BackPorch you see, and in mouse-steps even further!
“Aw fiddlesticks, Ma’am… I’m a big strong fella by now you know.” And with that, he flexes an arm to show me. I stifle a grin so as not to offend.
“Well, I’m sure you are quite capable, but seeing as I’m going that way with a bucket of weeds, would you like a lift? It’ll be dark soon remember… the days aren’t nearly as long now. You wouldn’t want to stumble and lose any of your harvest. And we mustn’t forget Mr. Spook Owl…”
He considered for only a moment… his glance darting to the tree tops around us. “Okay…” was all he said, disappearing briefly to retrieve the tiny blue cap that had fallen and rolled under the squash leaves during his display of mightiness. He watched from the edge of GardenBox while I gathered up my tools, and picked up the weed bucket. I held out an open palm and he climbed nimbly up, heaving the little basket along. Off to BackPorch we trudged, the bucket bumping and thumping, and Bic clinging tightly to my thumb with one hand, and his basket with the other.. At Downspout Timber, I paused to let him off.
A bit breathless and quite transparently relieved, he jumped down, careful not to spill the seed basket. Attempting a manly-mouse voice, he squeaked... “Thank you, Ma’am…” and bowed politely yet again. Ah yes! The saying applies here too—the-apple-doesn’t-fall-far-from-the-tree.
“You’re welcome, Bic. Say hello to your parents for me.”
I glanced up and saw Fivelina gathering wee nappies off the BittersweetVine clothesline. She waved a friendly greeting, and I returned the gesture.
Indeed darkness falls quickly these days. I hurried to empty the weed bucket, looking over my shoulder now and then. Not that Mr. Spook Owl worries me so, but there are other larger creatures in the Hare Hollow Woods that I don’t care to encounter face-to-face. Relieved to be back inside, I shut the door firmly, smiling at my own silliness.
Now for a cup of chamomile tea… and yes, maybe I’ll light a candle too.

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