By Linda Porter Carlyle
Trevor Paul Monroe opened his eyes. He was wide awake and full of energy. How strange to be absolutely asleep one minute and completely awake the next! Trevor grinned to himself as he thought of all those school mornings when Mom had practically had to drag him out of bed. It must be the weather, he decided. It would be so much easier to get up for school if he didn’t have to get up before the sun!
Trevor stretched and jumped up. He opened his bedroom door and heard Mom-in-the-kitchen noises. He padded down the hall past Brad and Ben’s room. For a moment, he was tempted to fling open their door, burst into their bedroom with an ear-piercing Indian war whoop, and tackle one of them as he slept. But, happily, good sense came to the rescue, and he walked on past the twins’ door.
“Good morning!” Mom greeted him cheerfully. “What woke you up?”
“Just the sun,” Trevor answered. “Can I go for a walk?”
“Sure,” Mom said. She pulled open a bag of walnuts and dumped them into the big bowl on the counter. “You may be lucky enough to have a warm cookie when you get home.” She smiled.
Trevor quickly ate a bowl of his favorite dry cereal. He grabbed an apple from the refrigerator and polished it on his shorts as he headed out the door. He paused on the front porch to take a bite and look around.
The neighborhood was very quiet. It was too early for anyone to be mowing his grass. And all the kids must still be asleep because he could hear no basketballs bouncing or skateboards cruising. It was like the neighborhood was his own special, private place this morning, Trevor decided.
Trevor strolled down the sidewalk munching his apple and wondering how long it would be before he saw another person outside. Oh, there was tiny, old Mrs. Sutton, bent over her hoe, busy in her garden. Trevor liked Mrs. Sutton’s garden. It always seemed to be escaping. Whatever she planted next to the fence always crawled right on through.
Once Mrs. Sutton had planted peas beside the fence. She told the kids they could have all the peas outside the fence. Trevor fondly remembered popping open the crisp pods and scooping out the little round green peas. And one year a pumpkin vine had wandered through the fence, and three pumpkins grew on the sidewalk!
This year Mrs. Sutton had gone in for flowers. Hundreds of tall, jaunty purple flowers with wispy leaves and yellow middles grew along the fence and smiled at anyone passing by. And, of course, bunches of them poked through the fence to make absolutely sure no one missed seeing them.
“Hi, Mrs. Sutton!” Trevor called.
Mrs. Sutton straightened up and shaded her eyes from the sun. “Good morning, Trevor,” she said. “Can you help me?”
“Help do what?” Trevor asked, leaning against the fence.
“My weeds,” Mrs. Sutton explained, waving her arm wildly. “I don’t want them anymore!”
Trevor grinned. Mrs. Sutton was a funny woman. He liked to listen to her talk. “OK,” he said. He pushed open the gate and went into the garden. “What do you want me to do?”
“You may choose,” Mrs. Sutton said very seriously. “Grab them with your bare hands and yank them out by the roots, or go to the shed and find another hoe and chop them off at the ankles!”
Trevor laughed. “I’ll pull first,” he decided. He looked around. There were lots weeds, but they were tiny. They should be easy to pull out.
Trevor and Mrs. Sutton worked happily together. Mrs. Sutton began singing old songs, and Trevor joined in when he knew the words. They sang, “Yankee Doodle,” and “Down by the Bay,” and “America.” They even sang “The Twelve Days of Christmas”! And Mrs. Sutton knew all the verses.
“We did it!” Mrs. Sutton exclaimed suddenly, standing straight and looking around.
Trevor stood up and looked around too. “I see a few more,” he said, pointing.
“Bah!” Mrs. Sutton sputtered. “Any little weed we missed was probably invisible. I’ll catch it later!” She rubbed the small of her back and smiled at Trevor. “You are a godsend, you know!” she said. “I would never have had enough energy to get rid of all the weeds today, and by tomorrow they would have been knee-high! You’re a blessing!”
Trevor beamed. No one had ever called him a godsend before. “I have to go home!” he exclaimed, noticing how much higher the sun was than it had been when he left the house. “My mom was baking oatmeal cookies with walnuts, and if I don’t get home soon, Brad and Ben will eat them all up!” He hurried toward the gate.
“Pick some of my flowers, and take them to your mother,” Mrs. Sutton called after him.
Trevor hesitated. “I want to go home first and make sure I get some cookies,” he said. “Then I’ll come back for the flowers. And I’ll bring you a cookie too!” He waved and jogged toward home.