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MARGERY'S GARDEN

from Stories To Tell Children





There was once a little girl named Margery, who had always lived in the
city. The flat where her mother and father lived was at the top of a big
building, and you couldn't see a great deal from the windows, except
chimney-pots on other people's roofs. Margery did not know much about
trees and flowers, but she loved them dearly; whenever it was a fine
Sunday she used to go with her mother and father to the park and look at
the lovely flower-beds. They seemed always to be finished, though, and
Margery was always wishing she could see them grow.

One spring, when Margery was nine, her father obtained a new situation
and they removed to a little house with a nice big piece of ground a
short distance outside the town where his new position was. Margery was
delighted. And the very first thing she said, when her father told her
about it, was, "Oh, may I have a garden? _May_ I have a garden?"

Margery's mother was almost as eager for a garden as she was, and
Margery's father said he expected to live on their vegetables all the
rest of his life! So it was soon agreed that the garden should be the
first thing attended to.

Behind the cottage were apple trees, a plum tree, and two or three pear
trees; then came a stretch of rough grass, and then a stone wall, with a
gate leading into the fields. It was on the grass plot that the garden
was to be. A big piece was to be used for wheat and peas and beans, and
a little piece at the end was to be given to Margery.

"What shall we have in it?" asked her mother.

"Flowers," said Margery, with shining eyes,--"blue, and white, and
yellow, and pink,--every kind of flower!"

"Surely, flowers," said her mother, "and shall we not have a little
salad garden in the middle?"

"What is a salad garden?" Margery asked.

"It is a garden where you have all the things that make nice salad,"
said her mother, laughing, for Margery was fond of salads; "you have
lettuce, and endive, and mustard and cress, and parsley, and radishes,
and beetroot, and young onions."

"Oh! how good it sounds!" said Margery. "I should love a salad garden."

That very evening, Margery's father took pencil and paper, and drew out
a plan for her garden; first, they talked it all over, then he drew what
they decided on; it looked like the diagram on the next page.

"The outside strip is for flowers," said Margery's father, "and next is
a footpath, all the way round the beds; that is to let you get at the
flowers to weed and to pick; there is a wider path through the middle,
and the rest is for rows of salad vegetables."

"Papa, it is glorious!" said Margery.

Papa laughed. "I hope you will still think it glorious when the weeding
time comes," he said, "for you know, you and mother have promised to
take care of this garden, while I take care of the big one."

"I wouldn't _not_ take care of it for anything!" said Margery. "I want
to feel that it is my very own."



Her father kissed her, and said it was certainly her "very own."

Two evenings after that, when Margery was called in from her first
ramble in the fields, she found the postman at the door.

"Something for you, Margery," said her mother, with the look she had
when something nice was happening.

It was a box, quite a big box, with a label on it that said:--





Next: MISS MARGERY BROWN,

Previous: THE NIGHTINGALE



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