Monster Plantspage 1 / 3
"Mom, can I have a garden?" Judy stood in the back yard of the new house, looking at the wonderful space that stretched out before her.
"I don't see why not," her mom said. "As long as you do all the work. Deal?"
"Deal," Judy said. "Can I put it there?" she asked, pointing to a sunny spot at the far left corner of the back yard, next to a small bird feeder.
Judy got right to work. She dug up the grass, raked the soil, and got rid of all the stones. She'd learned about gardening from helping her neighbor in their old apartment in the city. Mr. Calderone had made a small garden in the tiny bit of available space at the back of the building between the parking lot and the fence. But this would be her very own garden.
The next day, Judy bough seeds for carrots, beans, and lettuce. She was glad they'd moved into the new house at just the right time for planting. Judy enjoyed working outdoors, and spent most of each day in the back yard. Her room was nice, but it smelled a little strange. The odor reminded her of a hamster cage. Judy kept the windows open as much as possible, and eventually the smell went away.
Tending the garden helped keep Judy busy during those first weeks before she made any friends. Even after she'd met Ruth and Katie and the other girls in the neighborhood, Judy didn't talk about her garden. It was sort of a secret -- something special she didn't want to share just yet. The other girls were nice enough, but Judy still felt like an outsider. She knew they'd accept her in time, as long as she didn't give them a reason to dislike her.
But the garden grew well -- it grew beyond her wildest hopes, and the time came when she was ready to share. She was proud of her success.
"Can you come for lunch tomorrow?" she asked her new friends. "I've got a special treat for us."
"What is it?" Katie asked.
"You'll see." Judy smiled as she imagined her new friends enjoying a meal at her house.