A Girl’s Garden
A neighbor of mine in the village Likes to tell how one spring When she was a girl on the farm, she did A childlike thing. One day she asked her father To give her a garden plot To plant and tend and reap herself, And he said, ‘Why not?’ In casting about for a corner He thought of an idle bit Of walled-off ground where a shop had stood, And he said, ‘Just it.’ And he said, ‘That ought to make you An ideal one-girl farm, And give you a chance to put some strength On your slim-jim arm.’ It was not enough of a garden Her father said, to plow; So she had to work it all by hand, But she don’t mind now. She wheeled the dung in a wheelbarrow Along a stretch of road; But she always ran away and left Her not-nice load, And hid from anyone passing. And then she begged the seed. She says she thinks she planted one Of all things but weed. A hill each of potatoes, Radishes, lettuce, peas, Tomatoes, beets, beans, pumpkins, corn, And even fruit trees. And yes, she has long mistrusted That a cider-apple In bearing there today is hers, Or at least may be. Her crop was a miscellany When all was said and done, A little bit of everything, A great deal of none. Now when she sees in the village How village things go, Just when it seems to come in right, She says, ‘I know! ‘It’s as when I was a farmer…’ Oh never by way of advice! And she never sins by telling the tale To the same person twice.