One summer morning, 8-year-old Annie went out into the yard. She hopped on her swing. When Annie swings, the swing goes, ‘see- saw,’ and she says, “What did I see that you saw?” She then went to sit on her rock. “Hmmmm, what did I see that the swing saw?” she asked herself. “Oh, the swing saw how beautiful our garden is. I also saw that” said Annie. The garden is a lush beautiful one, with one swing and a vegetable patch with cherry trees and beautiful flowers and lots of butterflies. Annie, her 5-year-old sister Lola, and her 6-and-a-half-year-old brother Mike, all helped to make this garden. And Annie loves to surf in the grass. Did you ask “What is surfing in the grass?” I was going to explain that. Surfing in the grass is putting a plank on the grass and standing on it and then pretending that you are surfing.
Suddenly, Lola and Mike were going crazy and could not calm down. They screamed “One of our tomatoes is gone!” “This calls for us to investigate - dun dun dun,” said Annie. “I will look around with my magnifying glass, but before I do, I’ll calm you down. Take deep breaths little ones, it’s okay” said Annie. “What could’ve taken the tomato …hmm, maybe a fairy?” she asked her siblings. “I like fairies” said Lola. “Maybe a nice monster? Maybe it is furry?” wondered Mike. “Let’s continue playing” said Lola. “Yeah, I’ll surf in the grass. Let’s come back tomorrow,” Annie agreed.
The next day, more tomatoes were missing. “Okay, we have to get serious!” Annie said. She took out her nature diary. “I’ll go play,” said Lola. “This is too creepy,” Mike agreed. Lola and Mike left to play, while Annie wrote down questions. She looked down. “Oh my, footprints. Those look familiar,” observed Annie. Lola and Mike came tumbling. “You did it, Mike! You don’t like tomatoes,” said Lola. But Mike said, “No, you did it!”
“Am I seeing things, or do I see a bent dandelion,” asked Mike. “You are a great ‘seer’ Mike!” said Lola. “What does that even mean?” she asked. “Why did you say that, if you don’t even know what it means?” asked Annie. “I don’t know,” admitted Lola. “Let’s move on, okay?” said Annie. “I have a great idea.” “Idea?” Lola asked “What?” Mike asked. “Let’s use our ‘Nature diary’ to write down clues and find answers,” said Annie. “Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s open the book,” said Mike. “I’ll write down the clues. Lola, Mike, you go and play” said Annie. “Okay” said Lola and Mike. “Wait! Do you know what I just saw?” said Annie. “No,” said Lola and Mike. “I saw a bushy tail!” exclaimed Annie. “Let’s write it down.” “Yeah,” said Lola and Mike. “What has a bushy tail?” asked Mike. “Maybe a Fox,” suggested Lola. Annie wrote it down.
Annie had another idea. She whispered it to Mike. “That’s a great idea” said Mike. “Let’s do it!” The three children asked their mother if they could camp outside for the night. Their mother said “Yes, but on one condition. No going outside without mosquito repellent.” “Okay,” said Annie, Mike and Lola. At night, when they were camping, they looked out of the little tent window but didn’t see anything. The next night they did the same thing, but didn’t spot anything outside the window again. Annie had a new idea. “Why don’t we try it in the morning? Maybe that’s why we don’t see anything.” “Great idea!” said Mike.
In the morning Annie said, “Let’s make puppets that look like us, while we sit on a branch of a tree.” Lola, Mike and Annie made the puppets inside the house. One puppet they placed sitting on a rock. The other two were placed sitting on the grass, picking flowers. They climbed up a tree, and sat on a branch when they saw something move toward the tomato patch. “Quick, give me binoculars,” whispered Annie. “Here,” said Mike, handing Annie the binoculars. “Oh! Look! It’s a squirrel with a tomato in its mouth,” whispered Annie. “I’m glad we found out who has been stealing the tomatoes.” “Yep!” said Mike. “But what are we going to do about it?” “Hmmm…,” said Annie. “Let’s put nets on the tomato plant,” she suggested. “We can ask mommy to do that.” “Yeah, let’s do that now,” said Mike. “Mommy, can you put nets on our tomato plants?” “Sure,” said their mother.
From that day on, no more tomatoes disappeared.
Eliana is 6 years old and lives in Nanuet, New York. Her favorite color is yellow. She loves to sing and dance, and has a big imagination. One of her most favorite things to do is to go outside in the "nature world" (as she calls it).
Photo by Dominique Knobben from Pexels