Merry Meadows Garden

January 19, 2009
By Brittany Bier, Cameron, WI

Once upon a time, in a land just behind the house, there was a flourishing garden with many cheerful vegetables. They were lying out, stretching their vines and leaves, soaking up the sun. It was a beautiful day at the Merry Meadows Garden, and the vegetables were making the most of it. The garden was surrounded by a tall, coffee-brown, wooden fence. It enclosed the vegetables in their fortress, keeping out any intruders that would want to harm them. The only ways into the garden were through the big gate door that could only be opened by a human and the tiny mouse hole only Milton, the farm mouse, could fit through. Each section of the garden was reserved for a different type of vegetable.
On the front end of the garden, near the gate, were the carrots. Cathy Carrot was the grandmother of all carrots, and when Farmer Brown, the care taker of the wonderful vegetables, was away, she watched over the little vegetable children, making sure they didn’t cause any mischief. She had many crinkles and cracks in her roots. Looking at her roots, the hardships of her life could be seen. She was very wise and took good care of the vegetables.
A little ways down the fence, about two feet, was the Broccoli family. They had one son Buster. Buster had a humungous, intensely-green afro. His hair was even larger than his body! All the other vegetables were extremely jealous. Buster Broccoli was the leader of all the vegetable kids. They all looked up him to him because he was the toughest and the smartest.
Just across the garden, on the other side, near the fence, were the pumpkins. They were very immense in size and vibrant in color, the brightest orange anyone had ever seen. They had a very large son named Patrick Pumpkin, Buster’s best friend in the whole entire world. He was Buster’s side- kick. They went everywhere together.
Near the middle of the garden, expanding all the way from one fence to the next, were the corn stalks. The youngest corn daughter was Corny. Corny Corncob, she liked to be called. She was very tall in comparison to the other corncobs. Her pale green husks didn’t help her look much shorter either. They were very long and only opened to show her lovely yellow face. She had countless tiny white hairs popping out all over. She was awkwardly beautiful with a shy personality that everyone loved. She tagged along with Buster and Patrick. They were all great friends. They always played together, even when they were getting into trouble.
At the very back of the garden was a lot of open space with only dirt. It was very clear and clean. This was where the vegetable kids would go to get away from the eyes of Cathy Carrot. It was behind the tall corn, so she couldn’t see them.
On this particular day, they were lying out in the sun in the back of the garden. Farmer Brown walked in through the big gate, and they heard him coming back. They all dashed into the corn so that Farmer Brown wouldn’t see them watching him. Today he was wearing his favorite blue overalls with an obnoxiously bright, yellow shirt. He was wearing his big straw hat and new work boots that were already covered in dirt. The strangest part of Farmer Brown on this particular day was his new shovel. It was very shiny and intriguing to the little vegetables. They got very excited when he started digging lots of tiny holes in the back end of the garden.
“I’m so excited to get new vegetable friends,” Corny announced, filled with joy.
“What makes you think he’s planting new vegetables? Maybe he’s just tilling the ground for us so we can play more,” Patrick snapped back.
“He is definitely planting new vegetables; look in his pocket right there,” Buster said, pointing to the many packets of seeds in his back pocket. “I think it’s an eggplant.”
“Yuck, I heard eggplants were mean plants. I hope they aren’t eggplants!” Corny cried.
Patrick giggled at the thought of any big purple vegetable being mean. He believed that the nicest plants were the biggest ones. “Well, whatever they are, I’m excited.”
Sure enough, Farmer Brown put in many seeds in three different sections in the back, and he watered them daily. A few weeks went by, and a lot of green vines grew in each of the three sections.
On the first vine, there were weird red things with little seedy dots all over them. They were in the shape of upside down rain drops. The vines spread out almost as much as the pumpkin vines. They took up so much space.
On the next vine, there was a tiny stem holding the mysterious vegetable high into the bright blue sky. It wasn’t too high for them to see what the weird vegetables looked like. They were quite boring looking: some were light green and others were deep purple. They were fat and perfectly round.
The last vine was held up by weird metal posts. The vegetable on this plant was fat and red. It looked very juicy and squishy.

“What in the world are all these weird vegetables? I’ve never seen anything like them before,” Patrick finally announced after all the vegetable children stared in astonishment.

“No clue,” Buster shrieked.
Buster couldn’t handle it anymore. He had to know. He ran up to the vine and touched one of the weird, red seedy ones. It popped off!

It jumped up and looked very startled.

“What kind of vegetable are you?” Buster asked. I’ve never seen anything like you before.”

No response came from the tiny red, seedy one, so Buster decided he’d get down one of each strange new vegetable. He hit down a dark purple, round one and the big, fat red one.

“Why did you wake us?” the big, fat red one asked.

“Well, we were just wondering what kind of vegetables you all are. I mean, this is our garden. We have the right to know who is taking up our usual play spot,” Buster said somewhat rudely.

The big, fat red one had all the answers. “Well, we are not vegetables at all. Although some like to say we are, we aren’t. We are fruits.” His voice took on a prideful tone as he puffed his red cheeks out vainly. “We’re much sweeter than you . . . um veggies. We have seeds. I am a tomato, Sarah is a strawberry, and George is a grape. Sarah is very shy and doesn’t talk much, but George is very tough,” he warned. “He’ll confront anyone. My name is Terry,” he added importantly. “Who are you three?”

“We are the leaders of this garden. We make all the rules and play all the cool games. I don’t think we really like fruits,” Buster snapped.

“Hey!” George snapped back. “Don’t be mean. We didn’t do anything to you.”
George hated when people were mean to his fruit friends.

“We cannot be seen with fruits.” Patrick stated. “We’re too cool for this. We will not play with you. We’re going back to the front of the garden. See ya!” With that, the three vegetables rushed to the front of the garden.

Days went by, and the two groups were separated. Neither went beyond the corn to play. They each stayed on their side of the Great Grain Divide.

Soon, all over the garden, in both the front and back, tiny new plants just popped up; Farmer Brown hadn’t even planted them! It started to worry the vegetable children.

“What in the world are those?” Corny said worriedly.

Patrick’s face was full of fear, “No clue, but they are scary.”

“I know what we’ll do. We’ll go up to all the plants and ask what they are and then run away really fast. Sound good?” Buster’s plan seemed like a good plan, and the other vegetables thought it was great.

They ran around to all the plants and asked “Who are you, and what are you?”

After the investigation was over, they gathered together in the middle of the garden.

“What did you find out?” Corny asked.

“Well, I asked ten of them, and they were all weeds named Walter,” Patrick said.

Corny was trying not to cry while she talked, but she couldn’t hold it back any longer. “That is exactly what all the ones I asked said. They also said that they were here to take over the garden!”

“That’s exactly what they said to me, too,” Buster stated.

“We have to do something, and we have to do it fast,” Patrick said as calmly as possible.

They decided that they would ask Cathy Carrot for help.

“Cathy, Cathy! Something terrible has happened.” The three young vegetables had run to the front of the garden, and Patrick was frantically trying to tell her of the dilemma. “These mean, scary weeds, all named Walter, are trying to take over the garden. We don’t know what to do.”

“Oh, children, everything is going to be okay. They came once many years ago. All that has to be done is this: on the other side of the fence is a small, green bottle. In it is a very toxic chemical called weed killer. It gets rid of all the Walters. Make sure every weed gets squirted. After that, all your problems will be solved.” Her words calmed the poor little vegetables, but something still worried them. How would they get to the other side when the gate was closed?

They spent a lot of time thinking with no good ideas.

Then suddenly Corny shouted, “I’ve got it, Milton’s mouse hole! One of us can climb through, grab the bottle, and come back.”

“That’s sounds great, but we’re all way too big to fit through the hole. It’s barely big enough for a small bottle,” Buster said.
As they paced about, thinking of what to do, the fruits came wandering through to the front of the garden.
“What are you three doing all the way up here?” Buster asked.
“We noticed that there is a problem, and we would like to help,” Terry responded.
“Well, unless you have some magnificent plan, we don’t need you,” Buster rudely said.
Tiny Sarah Strawberry barely ever talked, but today she had a lot to say. “First of all, you are rude to us. We’re just trying to help. And as a matter of fact, we do have a plan, and it is flawless.”
All the vegetable children backed off in astonishment.
Corny was the only one with enough guts to admit they were wrong in being mean. “I’m very sorry for the way we treated you,” She apologized, offering her stalk in a friendly hand shake. “Well, let’s hear your amazing plan to get rid of all the Walters.”
The plan was in fact flawless, and they even performed it perfectly.
They figured out that Sarah was small enough to fit through the tiny mouse hole but wasn’t strong enough to carry the bottle. She decided to hop on Patrick’s vine, and he would carry her on the vine, through the hole, and then to the weed killer. She grabbed it, and he pulled her back. They all had to work together to save the garden. After squirting the plants, the Walters soon disappeared. They were heroes.
From then on, the vegetables accepted the fruits, and they let them play wherever they felt. They all became great friends and played together happily.

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