Monster Plantspage 2 / 3
"I can come," Ruth said.
"Me, too," Katie told her.
Judy got up early the next morning. She took her basket -- a gift from her mother -- and went out to the wonderful garden by the bird feeder. She picked carrots and lettuce and beans, choosing the most perfect samples she could find. By lunch time, she'd made carrot sticks, and a salad. Her mom had helped her cook the beans, and Judy had put out small dishes of creamy dip for the carrots and bottles of three different dressings for the lettuce.
"Wow," Ruth said. "This looks great."
"Thanks." Judy sat down at the table with her friends. She felt that she had passed a test. She was one of them now.
"This is a lot nicer than when creepy little Billy Mumpswagon lived here," Ruth said.
"A boy lived here before me?" Judy asked.
Katie nodded. "Yeah. He was weird. Had all kinds of pets. He had tons of fish. And you know what?"
"What?" Judy asked.
Ruth's face broke into a look of disgust. "When the fish died, he didn't flush them. He always buried them out back. Can you imagine that? He had this whole section dug up. It was filled with fish and hamsters and birds. Snakes and lizards, too. The kid was really weird. He had little tombstones all over the place. His mom made him take them down before they sold the house."
Judy paused, her fork just a tenth of an inch from impaling a piece of lettuce, and thought about the smooth, white rocks she'd cleared from the garden. "Out back?"
"Yeah, out in the corner. I think there's a bird feeder or something there." Katie picked up a carrot stick. It seemed to wriggle slightly in her hand.
Judy looked at the lettuce. It rippled at the edges, fluttering like the fins of a tropical fish.