There once was a gray old woman,
who lived on Hickory Lane.
Her house was pink with purple stripes,
and one lime green window pane.

But what made her house peculiar,
was not the strange decor.
It was the garden, blooming bright,
with plants and trees galore.

Orange pumpkins, and strawberry shrubs,
growing between the towering trees.
A disorganized tangle of bushes and vines,
happy flowers and ferns for the bees.

A cactus hiding in the shade of a palm,
patches of wheat swaying in the breeze.
A single proud stalk of ripened corn,
cabbages among the roots of the trees.

The garden seemed like a magical place,
with secrets hidden among the leaves.
It left her neighbors wondering,
what tricks the lady had up her sleeves.

One morning a brave little schoolgirl,
marched up to the lady’s front door.
Her curiosity had grown so large—
She couldn’t stand it any more!

The girl needed to know how a garden,
could grow such wonderful things.
Did the lady use soil from enchanted lands?
Or water from exotic springs?

The hefty door creaked as it opened,
the girl’s heart began to pound,
two green eyes peeked out and a timid voice asked:
“Ummm hello… What brings you around?”

The girl immediately blurted out:
“It’s your garden! It’s just so strange.”
She saw the lady’s eyes grow cold,
as her expression began to change.

A moment passed in silence,
the girl’s knees went shaky and weak,
the old lady took a deep breath,
and then she began to speak.

“I planted the seeds of pumpkins,
but cabbages grew instead.
When I planted onions, a rose bush appeared,
with flowers blooming a beautiful red.

I wanted some berries, to bake into pie,
but a pear tree sprouted and grew.
And a cactus somehow appeared in my yard,
when I wanted carrots to make into stew.

I bury the seeds of one plant,
and another plant grows in its place!
But this doesn’t just happen when gardening…”
Tears streamed down the lady’s face.

“This morning I wanted a sandwich,
I cut myself a slice of cheese,
but when I placed it onto the bread,
it became a portion of fleas!

I cracked open an egg, and out poured shampoo,
my bagel turned into a sandal,
and when I sat on my couch to take a break,
it became a giant door handle.

One time I placed a bowl into the kitchen sink,
and it suddenly caught on fire,
the purple flames spread across the counter,
coconut scented smoke rose higher.

I picked up the phone to call for help,
but it became an angry goose.
I kicked the table in anger,
and it turned into mango juice.”

The girl exploded in laughter,
turning red as she waved goodbye.
As the old lady watched her walk away,
the only thing she could do was cry.