A Fine Morning to Garden

Sunrise from Illustration, Zir Annabelle the Sweet Pea Whimble tossed and turned in her cozy wee bed. The waking sun sent sunbeams through her window, tickling her eyelids. But, Annie B. was not tempted to open her eyes.

"Go away! Go away! Go away! I do not want to play today!" the Whimble declared, muffling the words into her pillow.

StaffordIn the kitchen her trusted Companion, Gillian, was preparing breakfast and rolling dough for a spring vegetable pie. The tiny field mouse was worried. His best friend had not been her usual sweet, albeit a bit bossy, self. Something was amiss.

"Miss Annie," called Gillian from the bottom step. "Your favorite breakfast is served. Do come down."

"Oh all right then. I'm getting up," Annabelle muttered. Whipping the quilt back, she slipped her feet into soft blue velvet slippers and toddled down the stairs. She entered the kitchen, her pink nightcap askew. Gillian's whiskers twitched madly.

"Gillian, stop that whisker nonsense! I know I've been grumpy lately."

The mouse responded, "Annie, we all have little bumps in our road. Perhaps a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice will help." He was ever the diplomat.

Without replying, the Whimble turned to look out the open kitchen door. The sky was cloudless, the greening maple tree was swishing about in the breeze, and the garden below glistened from the recent rain. Annie could see her first sweet pea shoots. It was, after all, a dreamy spring morning.

Annabelle stood in the entrance, smiling and remembering. 

PaxBefore The Whimbles came to Earth from their faraway Land of Caelumen, Pax the beloved Anciennan Lion journeyed each year across the land's great mesa into her colony, The Gardens, to help with spring seeding. When they worked along side one another, he would wisely say, "Nothing feels better than when I am planted in the garden."

Jumping up from her chair, the Whimble whisked off to her bedroom."So what if Manning forgot to thank me for those hazelnut shortbread cookies Gillian took to him three days ago! So what!" she declared climbing back upstairs. Pax's words had hit their mark. 

From below Gillian pricked his ears, hearing all kinds of commotion - doors squeaking, drawers opening and closing, wheels rolling over floors.

"Tada!" Annie announced upon her return to the kitchen."I'm ready now!"

The field mouse gasped. There she stood, Annabelle the Gardener — blue and pink overalls, lime green wellies w/ tiny red ladybugs marching about, an enormous blue beret, purple gloves.

"Nothing matches," Gillian thought to himself.

Gardening tools were neatly packed in a hemp basket with wheels. Without another word, the Sweet Pea Whimble grabbed the basket handle and sailed out the kitchen door.

Annabelle headed toward her sweet peas and the oak leaf lettuce. She knelt down to greet them.

"Good morning to you, one and all!" exclaimed the Whimble, beginning to pull dandelions from around one and then another plant.

While Gillian emptied a bushel basket of weeds or pruned, Annie B. talked first to a flower, then to an herb, and lastly to the resident cardinal on her nest. She buried her hands in the moist rich soil, inhaling its wonderful scent. The Watchmouse worked right alongside her, cheerfully poking tiny holes in the raised bed into which Annabelle dropped one seed after another. When all packets were empty, the two carefully patted new soil over each hole and gently watered every row.

"Gillian, thank you for all your help," the Whimble declared.

"You're feeling much better now, aren't you, Miss Annie?" her Companion enquired.

"I am, Master Gillian. Life is good! Let's go home. You brew jasmine tea while I bake a lovely lemon cake to celebrate." 

Annabelle the Baker

(la fin from The Working Gardens - Penstemon Farm, Earth)