May 30, 2018



It’s been a long time since I read or listened to any of Aesop’s fables. I imagine there are many of you in the same boat I am. We sit and stare at the TV, clicker in hand, and complain because there is nothing good on. Oh, Seinfeld reruns are OK, and once in a while I watch a Twins game. In spite of this, my reading has diminished the past few years. And that is a bad thing.
What started this train of thought was watching Shirley this past week. She planted her garden. Now, I’m not much of a gardener. I was 22 years old and married before I found out that pickles came from cucumbers! Really! Until the first time Shirley planted a garden and started making pickles from cucumbers, I thought somewhere in this wide, wonderful world, people just raised pickles. Don’t laugh. I led a sheltered childhood life.
Now Shirley grows the best tomatoes ever. I mean we could win any county fair, even Slope County with her tomatoes. And there is just something about a newly ripened, juicy tomato, fresh from the garden, on a slice of sourdough toast for breakfast in the morning. Wars have been fought for less.
As I said, I’m not much of a gardener. Last year I did till the garden. Last year. That is the first time I ever did that. That is hard. But she puts this black paper down and just seeds through the little holes she cuts in it. So no tilling this year. I do feel sorry for her knees, kneeling on that hog panel she laid on the black paper. That has to hurt. But she fights through the pain. Shirley is tough.
But what made me think of Aesop’s fables were the rabbits. In the fables it is the ant and the grasshopper. In our world it is Shirley, myself, and the rabbits. Our garden lies on the south side of the house. There is a steep bank on two sides of the garden where we cut the hill away to level a spot for our dwelling. Dumb idea. But it is done.
Anyway, I was sitting on this bank, watching Shirley putting tomato plants in these old coffee cans. Pretty soon I noticed a cottontail rabbit sneak warily out of the tree row and quietly begin watching Shirley working in her garden. Then another! Soon there were four rabbits sitting watching Shirley planting our summer feast!
I asked Shirley, on my and the rabbits behalf, “How long until we will have something to eat from the garden?”
She threw a little shovel that she uses planting at me. The rabbits, which are usually silent, laughed.