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A Girl's Garden


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

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

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

On your slim-jim arm."


It was not enough of a garden,

Her father said, to plow;

So she had to work it all by hand,

But she don't mind now.


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.

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,

Tomatoes, beats, beans, pumpkins, corn,

And even fruit trees.


And yes, she has long mistrusted

That a cider-apple tree

In bearing there today is hers,

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.


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. . . ."

Oh, never by way of advice!

And she never sins by telling the tale

To the same person twice.


Robert Frost

Background by
Mary's Little Lamb

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