A Little Help for the Big People

A Little Help for the Big People"AH-CHOOOO!" Ned Anderson was in the midst of a dreadful summer cold.

"AH-CHOOOO!" Ursula Anderson's cold was even more drastic.

Neither of them had been able to tend their garden all week, and with a drought in full-swing, they were in danger of losing some of their favorite vegetables and flowers. Asarum stared forlornly at their shriveled corn, withered zinnias, and parched cabbage. For days now, he had been trying to summon a rain cloud to stand over their garden for a few minutes, but for some reason none would arrive. He asked his cousin Levisticum about it.

"You can't use magic on the Big People's gardens," said Levisticum. "Especially not this late in the season. They've taken too much magic out of the soil."

"What can we do?" Asarum worried about Ned and Ursula, who loved nothing more than their garden.

"Years ago," said Levisticum, "I made a tool just for this purpose." He went home and returned with a long skinny hose. At one end, a special attachment allowed it to be affixed to the Big People's outdoor spigot. Watering the entire garden with such a little hose was a big job, but the two fairies didn't shrink from it. At the end of the day, water was being taken up by the plants and they perked up. As night fell, the cousins gathered up the hose and went home.

That night, Ursula dragged herself out of bed for a glass of water. She turned on the porch light to see how her garden was faring. She had braced herself for the worst, but when she saw the wet soil and the healthy plants her heart leapt with joy! Somehow, her dear husband—sick as he was—had managed to get out to water the garden. And on such a hot day! He had even replaced the hose. What a good man. When she returned to bed, he was sound asleep. She was tempted to wake him to express her gratitude but decided he needed his rest.

Later, Ned roused from slumber to take some cold medicine. He noticed the porch light was on. As he approached the switch to turn it off again, he saw the wet, healthy garden. Oh, Ursula was such a jewel! She had refused to let her dreadful cold put an end to their wonderful garden and had somehow managed to do the watering. And she had even put away the hose. When he returned to bed, she was snoring softly. He thought about waking her to say how much he loved her, but decided she needed her rest.

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