I haven't written much about my garden this year, which is silly, really, since it was bigger than previous years and did quite well.
Then again, my writing has been somewhat sporadic overall which I blame on this thing I call "writing a novel". I have a certain amount of writing time available and I've been spending it outlining and getting a head start for NaNoWriMo.
Shush. That's not cheating.
Still, a couple weekends ago, I decided it was high time to clear the garden. I went outside and started pulling and cutting and sweeping and shoveling.
Which was when I lost three years of my life.
I crouched down in the warm sunshine, pulling tomatoes out by the roots. The thick strands went deep. I dug my bare hands into the loose soil freeing the tangles. I braced my legs and pulled.
The plant came out raining clumps of dirt and revealing a rock nearly the size of the apples still falling from the tree.
I furrowed my brow. How did a rock that big get into my raised beds so close to the surface?
I put the tomato plant behind me and reached my hand to pull the offending stone out of the way. As I got closer, my hand spread wide to accommodate the size, I frowned harder. What a strange rock. It was bumpy and somewhat brownish green. In fact, the bumps, as the dirt fell away, looked almost symmetrical. And the surface, now that it was almost clear, looked almost soft.
With a scream I jumped away, dancing and shaking my hands.
The kids ran to me, my mom - who was visiting at the time - asked what was wrong.
"There's a toad buried in my garden!"
Not only was Mr. Toad buried in the garden, but he was rather perturbed at being disturbed. As Mom cleared more dirt away, he gave us a disgruntled look and hopped away to a shadier spot.
"Let's call him Ralph, Mama," Joseph said, excited to have discovered such a creature in our backyard.
"Yes!" Elizabeth agreed.
I nodded my head in distraction and wondered if ten in the morning was too early for a good, stiff drink.