The sun was shining and the door to the garden was open. Abigail sat on the step with a glass of orange juice in her paw. A breeze blew the fur back from her face and she blinked. Spring was coming, it would be nice to be able to be outside again without wrapping herself up in her orange scarf. Both of the polars were standing by the wooden shed at the end of the garden. They seemed to be arguing. Getting to her paws, Abigail put down the orange juice and padded towards them.
‘We could plant them now, it’s warm enough.’ Patrick had a small green paper square beside him and he picked it up.
‘We’ll have to keep them covered though, in case there’s a frost.’ Preston peered at the green packet and took it into his paws and shook it. ‘There’s lots inside.’
‘What are you doing?’ asked Abigail. ‘What are there lots of inside?’
‘Seeds,’ said Patrick, ‘we’re going to grow some of our own food.’
Abigail put her head on one side. ‘You can’t grow cake,’ she said suspiciously, ‘you get it from the supermarket.’
‘You can make cake Abigail,’ said Preston, shaking his head. ‘It’s made with things like flour and eggs.’
‘So you’re growing flowers so we can make cake?’
Preston started to giggle. ‘Not that kind of flower. Flour!’
‘Thats what I said!’ shouted Abigail crossly and she stuck out her tongue out at them. Preston made a disapproving tutting sound.
Patrick handed her some of the green packets. ‘We’re growing things like tomatoes, lettuce and beans.’ It will be fun and we won’t have to buy them.’
‘But I don’t really like any of those things,’ said Abigail doubtfully. ‘They’re all right in a sandwich sometimes but I’d prefer chocolate. Can’t you grow that?’
Patrick shook his head. ‘Chocolate comes from beans and they don’t really grow here.’
Abigail was now really confused. ‘But you said you were growing beans!’ She sniffed. ‘I think I might go and make some toast, with jam. You can plant the seeds.’ Turning her back on them she padded back into the house.
Watching the polars from the window Abigail pushed her toast around the plate. What were they doing now? It was quite interesting. Patrick seemed to be digging lines in the earth by the side of the lawn and Preston was following behind him sprinkling something in from the green packets. It was no good, they obviously had no idea what they were doing and putting the plate aside, Abigail clambered down and padded back into the garden. She’d just have to help them.
Gardening was hard. She had dirt all over her paws and under her claws. It was quite fun too though. Tearing open the packet of tomato seeds she emptied them into the hole.
‘Not all in the same place!’ said Patrick, ‘spread them out a bit or they’ll all grow in a big lump!’
Abigail ignored him. Lumpy tomatoes sounded delicious. There was a loud thud behind them.
‘Look out,’ said Preston, ‘here comes Grigs.’
The tiger bounced up beside them. ‘What are we doing?’
‘Planting tomatoes,’ said Abigail, shaking some more into the lump. ‘Don’t bounce on them.’
The tiger quivered. ‘Hard not to bounce. Don’t tell me not to bounce…. Ohhhh’
‘TIGERS DON’T BOUNCE!’ shouted Patrick and Preston together.
‘You look very small down there!’ shouted Grigs as he bounced up in the air. ‘Look out, coming dowwwnnnnn…’
Picking up the spade Preston scampered down the garden followed quickly by Patrick. There was a thud. ‘Missed!’ shouted Preston, panting hard.
Sitting on the edge of the grass Abigail stared at the earth. There was no sign of the tomatoes yet. She wondered how long they took to grow. She was looking forward to having one in her sandwich tomorrow. Leaning forward she prodded the soil with her paw. Nothing. Perhaps they grew in the night, they’d be up in the morning she was sure of it.
‘Abigail,’ said Patrick, padding back towards her, ‘plants take ages to grow, it’s no good watching them.’
Abigail nodded. ‘Of course they do,’ she casually traced a circle in the earth with her paw. ‘Um.. how long… do they take?’
‘They’ll come up in a week or so but it will be a few months before we can eat them.’
‘A week? Months?’ said Abigail in surprise, ‘but the supermarket brings them straight round! ‘ She clambered to her paws and brushed the earth off of her fur. ‘You must have brought really slow seeds. Why did you choose those ones!’ She stalked away crossly.
With a sigh Patrick followed her indoors. ‘Obviously, silly me….really slow seeds….’