We were standing together on the sidewalk while the men were clearing the lot. I was watching the rats running for their lives. They were shooting off every which way. A couple of dealers came over, the ones always bragging about how bad they are. A rat ran right up one of their legs. The dude screamed, just like women do with a mouse in cartoons, only louder.
|Published (Last):||25 February 2006|
|PDF File Size:||9.95 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||9.65 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
We were standing together on the sidewalk while the men were clearing the lot. I was watching the rats running for their lives. They were shooting off every which way. A couple of dealers came over, the ones always bragging about how bad they are. A rat ran right up one of their legs. The dude screamed, just like women do with a mouse in cartoons, only louder. Shook his leg like his toe was being electrocuted.
That rat flew off and dove down a storm drain. I looked at my father. His eyes were stuck completely on the garden land being uncovered. He had a two-foot-wide smile on his face. My father drove a bus back in Haiti. Here he drives a taxi. That night he drove himself way across town to borrow two shovels from a friend of his.
The next morning was the first day without school. I was done with fifth grade forever. But when it was still half dark my father shook my shoulder.
School was over, but that garden was just starting. We walked down and picked out a place to dig up. The ground was packed so hard, the tip of my shovel bounced off it like a pogo stick. We tried three spots till we found one we liked. Then we walked back and forth, picking out broken glass, like chickens pecking seeds. After that we turned the soil. We were always digging up more trash-bolts and screws and pieces of brick.
It was shaped like a heart and covered with rust, with a broken chain. I got it open. Inside was this tiny photo of a girl. She was white, with a sad-looking face. She had on this hat with flowers on it. It seemed like hours and hours before we had the ground finished. We rested a while. Then my father asked it I was ready. I thought he meant ready to plant our seeds. But instead, we turned another square of ground. Then another after that. Then three more after that.
He was thinking of a farm, to make money. But my father said no. He was always asking people in his cab about now to get rich. The fresher it was, the higher the price. My father planned to pick it and then race it right over in his cab. Running red lights if he had to. Lettuce seeds are smaller than sand. I felt embarrassed, planting so much ground. Suddenly I saw Miss Fleck.
I hardly recognized her in jeans. She was the strictest teacher in Ohio. She pronounced every letter in every word, and expected you to talk the same way. She was tall and even blacker than my father. No slouching in your seat in her class or any kind of rudeness. The other teachers seemed afraid of her too. She walked over just when we finished planting. I looked away form her, down at our sticks.
He had on his biggest smile. He must have remembered her. He pointed at the closest squares of land. My Auntie, Anne-Marie. They both live in Haiti. I stared at my father, but he just kept smiling. His finger pointed farther to the left. She just stood, then walked over to her own garden. But what principal could she send him to? That lettuce was like having a new baby in the family. And I was like its mother.
I watered it in the morning if my father was still out driving. Neither of us knew anything about plants. This wrinkled old man in a straw hat tried to show me something when I poured out the water.
The minute it came up, it started to wilt. I got sick of hauling bottles of water in our shopping cart, like I was some old lady. Then the heat came. The leaves shriveled up. Some turned yellow. That lettuce was dying. My father practically cried, looking at it. Then bugs started eating big holes in the plants. I was counting on it. My father asked all his passengers what to do. His cab was like a library for him.
I stomped outside. I could feel that eighteen-speed slipping away. I was used to seeing kids lying and making mistakes, but not grown-ups.
I was mad at my father. Then I sort of felt sorry for him. That night I pulled out the locket. I opened it up and looked at the picture.
I out book, the goddess of crops and the earth had a sad month and flowers around her, just like the girl in the locket. I scraped off the rust with our dish scrubber and shined up that locket as bright as I could get it.
Then I opened it up, just a crack. Posted by Jin Sook at.
It showed climbing vines, rivers and waterfalls, grapes, flowers, singing birds, everything a desert dweller might dream of. To honor her late father, Kim plants six beans in a vacant lot. Ana sees her doing this and assumes she is up to no good, so she is thrilled when she finds the plants. She and her neighbor, Wendell, help water the seedlings. Soon, others in the area are planting seeds. One woman manages to get all the trash littering the lot hauled away. The plants grow and thrive, but more importantly, people who once ignored one another are now talking, offering advice and sharing recipes.
[PDF] Seedfolks Book by Paul Fleischman Free Download (112 pages)