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Tyler's Garden (sample)
Julia H. West
The lawn mower roared, and Larry jerked it onto the lawn. He had never hated mowing the lawn when he did it with Tyler. But now Tyler was gone, and Larry felt angry every time he glanced toward the yard next door. The lawn hadn't been mowed for weeks and the garden he and Tyler had planted that spring was drying up, prickly lettuce growing taller than the bean bushes, and bindweed twined among the squash plants.
Tyler and Larry had been friends all their lives. They shared everything—toys, tools, even chores. But that all changed when Tyler's dad got transferred to Washington state by his company. Now the house next door was a stranger; some woman had moved in. Miss Black seemed friendly when they went over with bread and a "Welcome" sign Larry's little brother made in shop, but they had hardly seen her since. Her car was in and out—but mostly out—of the driveway at all hours of day and night.
Larry didn't think Miss Black cared about her house. The lawn and garden were dying, paint peeled off the eaves, and the storm door had lost its bottom screen. Tyler and Larry would have fixed these things, when Tyler lived there.
The lawn mower roared to the end of the yard, and Larry realized he had been so busy thinking about Tyler that he had mowed the lawn the way they always did—straight across both his yard and the one next door. The one neatly mowed strip looked funny in the middle of the overgrown lawn. Larry stood looking at it for a minute, the lawn mower growling to go on, then shrugged. Sure, why not? he thought. It's not that much harder to do them both.
In a short time both lawns were mowed. The yard next door look nicer, and Larry felt better.
Larry wheeled the lawn mower back into the garage and unrolled the garden hose. He set the sprinkler up on the edge of the lawn and turned on the water. Half the spray hit the lawn next door, and Larry grinned. This was how he and Tyler had watered the lawns, because the front tap was broken on Tyler's house.
Cover design by Danica B. West, all rights reserved.
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Other stories by Julia H. West from Callihoo Publishing:
The Peachwood Flute (collaboration with Brook West)
Weeds (collaboration with Brook West)
|Banner by Danica B. West
This page created 13 December 2011
Last update 21 March 2014