TALES FROM HOME - Chapter Fifteen
The girls wondered if there could be anything more delicious then the sun warmed berries with which they filled their mouths.
While Julia had been working hard inside the house, Riley and Morgan had been working hard outside. The weeds had all been cleared from the rectangular beds edged with stone and each area was filled to overflowing with vegetables and fruits.
During the exploration of the barn, Morgan had spied a box of dusty glass jars filled with seeds, their labels printed carefully on brittle masking tape. “Green beans” was written on one label; “carrots” and “tomatoes” on others. Riley and Morgan had carefully worked up the soil in the beds and then planted row after row of vegetables. Although many seeds did not sprout, enough grew to fill the beds with beautiful plants in many shades of green.
Riley had done her best to make the rickety wooden fence around the garden area more sturdy and now the little gate hung straight and true. Morgan stood by it now, dancing from one foot to another waiting for her slowpoke sisters!
Just as she was running out of the gate, Julia remembered something she’d wanted to bring from the house. “Riley, Morgan! Wait for me!” she yelled as she ran back inside.
“We’re going to see Mr. Cat! See you in the barn!”
Heading straight to the low bookshelf in the living room, Julia grabbed her favorite rock, the heart-shaped one with gold, amber and purple ribbons running through it. She held it in her hand for a brief moment and then tucked it carefully in her pocket before running out the door, down the steps, through the gate and toward the little barn.
As she ran toward it, she saw her sisters had already slid the peeling doors back. Stepping from the sunlight into the darkened space, it took Julia’s eyes a moment to adjust! “Where are they?” she said to the empty space.
“Back here,” came the quiet reply. And there, hidden behind old stacks of straw bales and the little green tractor was Mr. Cat curled up in a bed of straw. Beside her four little kittens lay sleeping.
Morgan and Riley were crouched carefully beside their friend, petting her silky calico head. Mr. Cat purred and purred from their happy attention. “Julia, look,” said Riley softly, “They’re getting so big.” Julia crouched down beside her sisters and looked carefully at the four small surprises with their cunning little pink noses and tiny, down soft bodies.
“This is boring,” huffed Morgan, “Let’s go explore!”
And closing the sliding door as quietly as they could, off they went!
Off they ran past the small shed that they had rescued three chipped, red rocking chairs from. Many nights the sisters sat in them and the “creak, creak, creaked” in the chairs while the crickets sang along with the peaceful music. And although they didn’t have any ice to make happy, clinking sounds in glasses of lemonade they did have pure, cold water from the pump in the kitchen.
Off they ran past the place they had discovered the rusty wheelbarrow. Riley and Morgan had put that to good use hauling things in and out of the garden. Many of the old bottles they had discovered when they found their new home decorated the windowsills in the happy little house. The amber, cobalt blue and pale, pale green glass glowed like stained glass in the late summer sunshine.
Off they ran to the old piece of rope dangling down from the giant tree where they swang and laughed and drank their fill of bubbling, fresh cold water from the tiny spring beside the little blue-mirrored pond.
Off they ran, farther than they had ever explored before. They ate their potatoes and nothing had ever tasted so delicious. They drank their jars of water. They filled themselves with the sweet tartness of wild blackberries beside the trail. And on they ran.
And finally exhausted, they stopped. Right at the edge of the woods at the foot of the mountain, they stopped.
To be continued on Tuesday, August 3rd.
(c) 2010 Jennifer R. Matlock
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