Spring had finally come to Squirrel Town. It was a pretty day, the sun shining, a soft breeze blowing, and young squirrels were out enjoying it. Abby, a young squirrel, was bored playing the usual games. So she decided to be like her older sister Candy, the explorer, and go exploring on her own to see what she could find.
Abby didn’t want to collect acorns like Candy did, she wanted something special just for her. She stood in the middle of the green space of the town and looked around. Abby knew there was something waiting for her out there somewhere. Something special just for her, she just had to find it. Abby looked around, she saw a little used path across from the play area. It seemed to lead into the woods. She was pulled in that direction, so she headed that way.
Once she was on the path she moved forward looking from side to side. What could be drawing her down this path? Then just as she was about to give up, she saw something shining through some brush along one side of the path. Abby went towards it so see what it could be. As she got closer, she saw the shape of a gate.
Vines had grown over the gate. As Abby peered down both sides leading from the gate she saw a fence line. Abby reached out with her paws and started to pull the vines from the gate. She wanted to see what was behind it. As the vines came away, more of the black and silver gate was visible. It was so pretty with the whirls and flowers that made the design of the gate. Abby worked hard to find a latch or handle so she might open it, then she could go inside.
Finally she found a latch, she pulled it up and then slid it to the side. The latch moved smoothly and with a push the gate opened. Abby took her first steps past the gate. She stopped, she was amazed at what she found. Behind the gate was a garden, not just any old garden, but a flower garden.
Abby loved flowers and she was so excited. The flower garden was overgrown and weeds everywhere, but Abby could stand there and picture how pretty it would be with hard work and tender care. She was hoping to keep this garden a secret. She wanted it to be just for her, but she knew that it would take a lot of work and she might have to have some help.
Abby walked around looking at all she could see. There were walkways and different shaped plots of flower beds. They were all in need of a good weeding and turning of soil. Some even needed more soil, seedlings, and mulch. There was a riot of color, pinks, oranges, purples, blues, it was like a rainbow. There were Iris’, Bluebells, Snapdragons, Peonies, Roses, just to name a few. There was even areas of wild flowers with butterflies and humming birds flying around them.
As she continued her walk, she noticed that some of the stones surrounding the flower beds were broken or missing. The walkways were cracked and grass was growing up between the slabs of concrete. This was going to be a huge job to manage even though the garden wasn’t that big in size. Further along towards the middle of the garden she found a pond with a small waterfall. It was dirty with green slime and weeds had fallen into the water making it a real mess. That would take some time to clean out and Abby so wanted it to sparkle and have some fish swimming in it. Then it would be perfect.
There were some sitting benches placed around the garden. Most were wrought iron but there were a few wooden ones that needed some repair work and paint. It would be nice to be able to come here to enjoy the sounds and sights of the garden whenever she wanted to. When she walked around a bend to another flower bed to see what was there, she noticed a swing hanging in a tree. What a wonderful treat to find. Abby couldn’t wait to try it out, so she ran over to it and sat down to start to push herself back and forth. She made the trip twice before she landed on her butt in the dirt. She just sat there for a minute to catch her breath, then looked up. The rope had broke on one side. Now that was just not fair! She had really wanted to swing on that. Well she was going to have to add it to her list of things that needed fixing.
Abby got up and decided she would start with one of the flower beds closer to the gate and work on cleaning it out. Pulling weeds, brush, and checking on the plants there would a good place to started from. Making her way there she still looked things over so when she got home she could make a picture of what the garden looked like along with making a list of things she would need to take with her tomorrow. She knew she was going to need tools and a wagon to use. Abby decided she would ask Candy if she could use her pull wagon, the one she used for her acorn collecting, so she could haul the tools and other supplies to the garden. She didn’t know how she would get this by Candy but she would figure out a way. Candy didn’t really need the wagon right now because the acorns weren’t even growing yet. So she hoped that Candy wouldn’t mind her using it. She would ask her later tonight before bed. She still had to ask her mom and dad if it was alright for her to be doing a secret project too.
That evening at supper time Mom called the girls in to wash up and get ready to eat. Dad had just gotten home from work. He was sitting in his chair reading the daily paper, The Woods Press. Candy was finished washing up, so Abby asked her if she might be able to use her wagon for awhile. Candy looked at her and Abby told her it was for a secret project she was going to be working on. Candy thought it over and told Abby since she wasn’t in need of it until later in the year, Abby could use it as long as she was careful with it. Abby grinned and hugged Candy. Abby agreed to take very good care of it while she had it, then the girls went to see if their mom needed any help with supper.
Everyone told about their day while they sat around the table. Dad said the repairs and upkeep on the storage building for the acorns was going well. They did this every year to make sure that the acorn harvest would be safe and dry for winter. Mom told them about her Lady’s Group, it was going to be holding an early summer festival for the town. There would be booths set up for different things to buy or make, food booths, games to play, music and dancing. Both the girls got excited by this, but for very different reasons. Candy would be able to spend time playing games, enter eating contests, listen to music and dance with their friends. Abby wanted to have a flower booth so she could sell flowers to earn money for more seeds, planting soil, and mulch. Plus she needed to get new bricks, rope, and a few other things if she wanted to make her garden as pretty as she could.
Dad told the family that Uncle Aaron would be coming through town later in the week. Uncle Aaron was a truck driver. He hauled freight and other stuff from towns and cities all over. They didn’t get to see him often, so it was a nice surprise that he was going to be coming to their town. Mom told everyone that Uncle Danny was going to be around for most of spring and summer, earning extra money working at one of the mills in the outlying town further down the main road. Uncle Danny was only starting out working, so he was trying to take up a trade that would pay well so he could make his home close by them. Everyone was excited with the news. Mom went on to tell everyone that Uncle Danny would be staying with Uncle Flick while he was working, so he would be close by to visit.
Abby was glad to hear her Uncles were going to be around, she missed them. Of course Candy missed Uncle Aaron more because she had been around him since she was little, but Abby still liked him an awful lot. He was funny and got along with young squirrels just great. His big truck was fantastic to sit in and he even gave each of the girls a ride every time he came into town.
After supper was over Abby and Candy helped their mom clean up, then they all went out back onto the porch to listen and watch the stars. Dad would always read a story to them so they would be all settled down and ready for bed. Mom told Abby and Candy to go wash up, then climb into beds for hugs and kisses. Tomorrow would be there soon enough.