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:--

MARGARET OF NEW ORLEANS MASTER SANDY'S SNAPDRAGON facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail