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Life in a Garden
Life in a Garden
Hi, I’m Toby. I probably live a much different life than yours. I’m about five inches tall, wear a little red hat, and well, I live in a garden. See, maybe just a little different.. And I know what you’re probably thinking right now- “oh great! Another story about a dumb garden gnome.” But don’t go picking up another story just yet, because I have an interesting story to tell...
I live in the backyard of the Stewarts’ house in Wisconsin. The weather is usually pretty nice here, except for the winters but its spring now so all the flowers are blooming and the weather’s perfect. The garden community consists of my fellow gnome friends, the bugs and insects, the flowers, and our plants. Our job is to protect the fruit and vegetable plants from things like- the bunnies. Yup, the bunnies are our biggest fears and enemies (right next to dogs- we just see them as much). But the bunnies can chomp down our carrots faster than they come up. But we haven’t had an attack in so long that I decided to pursue my dream. My dream of seeing life outside the garden....
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“Hey!” I said as Lily came up to me while I sat by the pond. Lily is the gnome I have been wanting to win over since she was first placed by the strawberries. She had short blonde pigtails, a green hat, and the cutest smile.
“Hi!” Lily said back as she sat down. “What are you doing here by yourself?”
“ You know, just thinking...” I replied.
“ About what? If you don’t mind me asking.”
I smiled. “ Just about what life is like on the other side of the fence... Do you think I’m crazy if I wanted to go out there?” I looked over at her, waiting for a response.
“Not at all. You’re not crazy. I think every gnome has wondered that same thing at least once in their life.” She said reassuringly. “ But still, nobody seems to have made it out of the garden.” We sat there in silence for a minute, until I kicked a pebble in the water. “Well I’ve got to go tend to the strawberries now.” Lily said. “See ya!”
“Thanks for the talk!” I watched her run away, still thinking about what she said. “Nobody has made it out of the garden...” I looked at the fence, the setting sun, and thought “not yet anyway.”
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It was early morning when I woke up, before anyone else. I had my bag packed and I was ready to see the world. I snuck out by the gate next to the pond as people were waking up. I took one last look at my garden and hoped it would be okay by the time I got back.
I opened the gate and couldn’t believe my eyes. A whole two rows of houses full of other gardens. Flowers bloomed, children were running and playing outside, the sun seemed to shine brighter! It was like nothing I had ever seen before- beyond belief! As I walked down the sidewalk I met other gnomes who were so much different than the rest. By the end of the block I had already met probably twenty new friends and seen ten different gardens and lawns.
“Wow! I never knew that life was so much bigger outside of the fence! Look what I’ve been missing...” I said aloud as I continued on my journey. As I was looking around in awe, I heard a sound. A sound so close it made my heart stop.
I knew what it was as soon as I heard it, I just didn’t want to believe it. I slowly turned around and found out it was true. Growling right in my face was a big slobbery dog.
“AHHHHHHHHH!” I screamed as loud as I could and tried to run but it pawed me to the ground. “HELP!”
The dog was barking and thrashing, my heart leaped to the back of my throat and I couldn’t move. Then I heard a stern voice from behind yell “Down boy!” When I looked over I saw a fellow gnome scolding the dog. And to my surprised , the dog listened.
“Sorry about that. This is our gardens’ guard dog. He gets pretty protective.” Said the gnome. “ I’m frederick by the way.”
“ Toby. And that dog protects you!?” I cringed at the word alone.
Frederick laughed. “ Well, he’s been with us since the day I was placed by the tomatoes. He’s used to us and we’re used to him. He’s just not quite used to strangers yet.”
“Wow. We don’t have any guard animals in our garden.” I explained to him.
“Oh. Well I recommend that do. We haven’t had a single bunny in our yard since the dogs’ been here.”
“ Well, I’m gonna have to think about that when I go back... If I go back.”
“What do you mean, if ?” Frederick asked, confused.
“Well, its just that its so great out here, and I’ve been stuck in the same garden for years!”
“But think of all the things you’ll be leaving behind. I remember my first time outside of the garden. I felt the same way but then I just remembered my friends and family that I’d be leaving behind.” Frederick’s voice trailed as I thought of Lily back home. She probably never liked me anyway, I realized.
“I’m gonna keep going” I told Frederick. So we said our goodbyes and I journeyed on .
As I walked I kept hearing gasps and whispering. I overheard some gnomes saying things like “Oh I hope they’re okay!” and “ That poor garden!”
“I wondered what they were talking about, but I kept walking. Then finally, one of the gnomes saw the address written on my back (as all gnomes have).
“Oh my!” She said. “Your garden is being attacked! Thats your house down there right!?” She pointed down to my my house. I nodded, so confused and maybe in shock.
“Theres bunnies everywhere! Their surrounding the place!” She ran away in panic before I could respond.
All I felt panic. What have I done?! I was being selfish! I needed to go back and help them! Help.....
“HELP!” I called out to any gnome that was listening. “We need more people! Help!”
~~~~~~~~~~ * ~~~~~~~~ * ~~~~~~~~ * ~~~~~~~~ * ~~~~~~~~~~
We walked up to the gate. I had an army of gnomes every size and shape. I opened the gate and yelled...
And we all ran back and charged. The garden was in complete peril and chaos. Carrots, cabbage, strawberries, tomatoes, lay all over the ground, half-eaten. I wanted to cry. All of my friends that I had abandoned were too busy looking for me that they left the garden unguarded. Now they were trying to get all the bunnies (without harming them) all by themselves. But as soon as they heard us come in they all turned.
“TOBY!!” They all yelled, happy to see me and then they snapped back to reality “Help us!”
We tried and tried to save the plants for what seemed like forever. We needed backup.... something so feared it would- I got it!
I ran outside and down the street. Then I saw him. Frederick’s dog! I ran up to him cautiously, he barked but I grabbed him by the leash.
“Come on boy, we need your help.”
~~~~~~~~~~~ * ~~~~~~~~ * ~~~~~~~~~~~ * ~~~~~~~~~~ * ~~~~~~~~~~
We got to the gate and I unleashed the dog. He let out a big HOWL! and ran in after the bunnies. All the gnomes dodged him and the bunnies went scattering.
“HOORAY!!!” The whole gnome army yelled simultaneously. “ You’re a hero
Lily came running up to me and gave me a hug. “Where were you!?” She sounded so concerned.
“ I was being selfish instead of helping you guys.” I replied guiltily,
“ Well you have the right to chase your dreams and you did. In fact, we all should!” Lily exclaimed.
“You know what, Lily? You’re right!” And everyone seemed to agree with me.
So from that day forward we did just that. We assigned groups to stay and protect the garden on some days while the rest went to see the world, like I did. We got our own guard dog and our garden didn’t get attacked since.
Life was good, especially now that Lily and I are happily married and have our first child.
Yup. Life turned out just fine.