A NEIGHBOR of mine in the village
Likes to tell how one spring
When she was a girl on the farm, she did
A childlike thing.
One day she asked her father 5
To give her a garden plot
To plant and tend and reap herself,
And he said, “Why not?”
In casting about for a corner
He thought of an idle bit 10
Of walled-off ground where a shop had stood,
And he said, “Just it.”
And he said, “That ought to make you
An ideal one-girl farm,
And give you a chance to put some strength 15
On your slim-jim arm.”
It was not enough of a garden,
Her father said, to plough;
So she had to work it all by hand,
But she don’t mind now. 20
She wheeled the dung in the wheelbarrow
Along a stretch of road;
But she always ran away and left
Her not-nice load.
And hid from anyone passing. 25
And then she begged the seed.
She says she thinks she planted one
Of all things but weed.
A hill each of potatoes,
Radishes, lettuce, peas, 30
Tomatoes, beets, beans, pumpkins, corn,
And even fruit trees
And yes, she has long mistrusted
That a cider apple tree
In bearing there to-day is hers, 35
Or at least may be.
Her crop was a miscellany
When all was said and done,
A little bit of everything,
A great deal of none. 40
Now when she sees in the village
How village things go,
Just when it seems to come in right,
She says, “I know!
It’s as when I was a farmer——” 45
Oh, never by way of advice!
And she never sins by telling the tale
To the same person twice.