• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 04
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A Garden of Beauty

Hank took his pitchfork and turned the soil. Insects and pebbles came to the surface while flies buzzed in his face.

“Will you remove those spectacles; you’re going to knock them clear off your face,” Hank’s wife Mary said from the front porch.

“Do I tell you how to cook? Go back inside and take that cameo off your blouse. You shouldn’t be wearing that in the house. I gave that to you to wear on special occasions.” He wiped the sweat from his face and sighed.

“Like we ever have any special occasions. It might as well sit in the box then.”

“Oh, go cook some dinner and leave me alone so I can tend to the garden. I do this for you, you know. I could have one of the neighbor’s sons do this instead of me breaking my back.” He touched his lower side and grunted.

“Yeah, like you’d pay someone to do gardening. That’s a laugh.” Mary tapped her knee and chortled.

“Don’t you have to cook dinner? Go inside and make stew or some other horrible dish that makes my stomach churn.”

“Keep it up and you’ll be eating outside with the cows tonight.” Mary slammed the door behind her.

Hank shook his head and continued with his work. After he finished with the soil, he pulled some weeds and planted a few yellow marigolds and pink begonias. His back ached, his knees throbbed and he was thirsty, but he stood tall in his blue trousers, filthy with dirt, and admired his small garden of flowers. He hoped Mary would appreciate it.


A Garden of Beauty

Hank took his pitchfork to the shed and hung it on the hook. It swayed back and forth with the warm spring breeze. He then removed his work boots. He wouldn’t dare walk into the house with them on his feet or he’d never hear the end of it. His feet were swollen from the heat and he walked with a slight limp. When he approached the porch, a pitcher of ice tea waited for him on the outside table. He poured himself a glass and gulped it down.

“Hank, dinner’s ready.” Mary called from the kitchen.

When Hank stepped inside, Mary was glancing out the window at his garden, her eyes wide with a big smile. At that sight, all his pain disappeared.