n o r g W Tur e n Th
By Melanie Perten Cornell University
The bell rang, and Teddy jumped out of his seat. ‘The school day is over!’ he thought. ‘Time to play at the park!’ He smiled and stretched for a moment. Then he ran out of the classroom to go find his best friend, Nate.
Teddy found Nate outside the school, waiting on the curb. “Ready for the park?” Teddy asked. “I cannot go to the park today,” Nate replied sadly. “I am too tired! I have no energy to go to the park.”
“Too tired?” Teddy repeated. He was shocked. Nate loved the park! Teddy sat down next to Nate. Now that he was closer to Nate, Teddy could see that Nate really did look tired. But still… “Are you sure you cannot play today?” Teddy asked Nate.
“Not today,” Nate replied. “I want to go home and go to bed. Let’s go to the park a different day.” “Okay,” Teddy said. He was disappointed. “I still want to go to the park,” he told Nate, “but I will walk you home first. You should not walk home alone when you are so tired! C’mon, let’s go!”
The two boys got up, and began to walk to Nateâ€™s house.
Nate was so tired, that he began to fall asleep as they walked. Teddy looked over at his friend and laughed. Nate was walking with his eyes closed! ‘Good thing I know the way to Nate’s house,’ Teddy thought. ‘Nate is not paying attention to the way we are walking at all!’
And so they continued to walk, passing block after block, street after street. They walked for so long, that Teddy started to get nervous. They should have reached Nate’s house by now! He must have taken a wrong turn. ‘Where are we?’ he wondered.
Teddy shook Nate until he opened his eyes. Nate yawned and then looked around in confusion. “Where are we?” he asked Teddy. “We are lost,” Teddy replied. “I must have taken a wrong turn trying to get to your house.” “Uh, oh,” said Nate. “Let’s try to find a sign that can tell us where we are. Do you see any?”
“Here is a sign!” Teddy shouted. He was looking at a gate. “It says says ‘Community Garden’ – What is that?” “I do not know,” Nate answered. “Let’s check it out. Maybe there is someone here who can tell us how to get home. Then I can finally go to bed.” “Okay,” Teddy agreed. And so the two boys walked through the gate and into the Community Garden.
There were plants everywhere! There were short green plants on their left, and tall green plants on their right. And not just green, but red and yellow and purple too!
“Wow!” Nate yelled. His eyes were wide open now. “This place is incredible! Why do you think there are so many plants?” “I do not know, but I bet that man can tell us,” Teddy replied, pointing to his right. Nate looked where Teddy was pointing, and saw a man sitting next to some short green plants.
The boys raced over to the man with the short green plants. “Hello, friends!” the man greeted them. “How can I help you?” “What is this place, and what are all these plants?” Teddy and Nate asked him. “Why, this is the Community Garden!” he replied. “People all over the neighborhood come here to plant different things. We have many flowers and vegetables, and even some fruit! These plants here are carrots.”
“What are carrots?” Teddy asked. The man grabbed a hold of one of the short green plants, and pulled it out of the ground. At the bottom of the plant was a hard orange root. “This is a carrot!” the man said. “It is a vegetable and very good for you. Do you want to try it?” “Sure!” Teddy and Nate replied. The man handed each boy an orange carrot, and they both took a bite.
“Mmmm! This is delicious!” Teddy exclaimed. “I wish I could bring some home to my parents.” “Wow!” shouted Nate, as he finished his carrot. He began to jump up and down. “I have so much energy now!” he told the man. “That carrot really woke me up. I am going to teach my mom and dad about carrots too, maybe they will start buying them.”
The man smiled. “I am glad you like them,” he told the boys. “Tell you what – I have plenty, so why don’t you each take home a basket of carrots to your parents? Be sure to tell them how healthy they are. You should also tell them about the garden. Then you can all come and grow your own carrots!” He handed them two baskets of the orange carrots.
“Thank you.” said Nate. “But we are lost right now! Unless we figure out how to get back home, we will not be able to bring the carrots home.” “And we won’t be able to tell our parents about the garden!” Teddy added. “Oh dear,” the man replied. “Perhaps I can help.” The man pulled out a map, and together they found the way back to Nate’s house.
“Goodbye!” Teddy and Nate called to the man as they left the garden. “Thank you for everything!” They stepped out onto the sidewalk, and Nate turned to look at Teddy. “Race you home?” he asked. Then he took off.