A Children's Garden of Verses
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"Once upon a time, there were two little girls," I say, switching on the night-light. "And they liked to help in the garden because—" "No, they did not," my oldest daughter interrupts, "because gardens have worms and bugs." "Zoe is right," Ella says. "Can you read Little Bear instead?" Above: "And they liked to help in the garden," I repeat firmly, "because it was fun." It turned out these particular little girls loved worms and insects—so much that their best friend was a bug named Jonathan. "I doubt that," Zoe whispers. As my story continued, Jonathan the bug gave them enchanted shovels, which, in case anyone is interested, had the magical ability to plant whatever the girls wanted to grow. "They planted candy," Ella says. Image via Mama UK . Above: "Vegetables," I say. "M&M's," Ella clarifies. A compromise is reached: The little girls planted vegetables that tasted like candy because, as you will remember, the shovels were magic. The New York Botanical Garden sells a Kids' Garden Shovel in four colors; $10. Above: "I am starting to like this story," Zoe says. Image via Mama UK . Above: How do they make the candy grow, Ella wants to know. "To help the vegetable seeds sprout, Jonathan lets them use his magic watering can," I say. Kids' Watering Can is available in four colors; $18 from the New York Botanical Garden. Above: "And then the little girls made mud pies?" Zoe asks. Fine. And yes, the mud pies tasted like candy too (Reese's peanut-butter cups). Image via Mama UK. Above: There is a girl named Annabel at school, Ella remarks, and she wears green boots when it is muddy outside. So Jonathan the bug hands out two pairs of those, too. They are possibly Hunter Kids First Boots ($39.99), obtained through online shopping because, as Zoe points out, the children's shoe store in town is always sold out of the right size. Above: I am so tired. I yawn. Ella yawns. Then Zoe yawns, because yawns are contagious. Then, finally, there is blessed silence. Image via Mama UK. Above: Well, as everyone appears to be asleep, the little girls in the story were free to discover they liked cucumbers more than they liked candy. Heirloom Seed Collection ; $25 at Terrain. Above: The two girls were so excited about the possibility of raising all their own organic food, in fact, that they swore off TV and got cracking. After Jonathan increased the size of the garden significantly with a wave of his magical antennae, there were several months of hard labor. image via Mama UK. Above: Meanwhile, the little girls' mother, a beautiful fairy princess, felt sorry that they had to work so hard every day while she was inside relaxing, reading mystery novels with her feet up, so she asked Jonathan to give them a basket—possibly even a nice one, like the Children's Natural Wood Trug that came all the way from England (£9.95 at Burgon and Ball)—to help them gather berries. Above: And everyone lived happily ever after: The end. (Tomorrow night, it's back to Little Bear.) Image via Mama UK .