"Where, you tend a rose, my lad, A thistle cannot grow."
"Mistress Mary, quite contrary,
"Play out of doors as much as you like. It's a big place and you may go where you like and amuse yourself as you like. Is there anything you want?" as if a sudden thought had struck him. "Do you want toys, books, dolls?"
"Might I," quavered Mary, "might I have a bit of earth?"
In her eagerness she did not realize how queer the words would sound and that they were not the ones she had meant to say. Mr. Craven looked quite startled.
"Earth!" he repeated. "What do you mean?"
"To plant seeds in--to make things grow--to see them come alive," Mary faltered.
He gazed at her a moment and then passed his hand quickly over his eyes.
"Do you--care about gardens so much," he said slowly.
"I didn't know about them in India," said Mary. "I was always ill and tired and it was too hot. I sometimes made littlebeds in the sand and stuck flowers in them. But here it is different."
Mr. Craven got up and began to walk slowly across the room.
"A bit of earth," he said to himself, and Mary thought that somehow she must have reminded him of something. When he stopped and spoke to her his dark eyes looked almost soft and kind.
"You can have as much earth as you
want," he said. "You remind me of some one else who loved the earth and
things that grow. When you see a bit of earth you want," with something
like a smile, "take it, child, and make it come alive."
In each century since the beginning of the world wonderful things have been discovered. In the last century more amazing things were found out than in any century before. In this new century hundreds of things still more astounding will be brought to light. At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done--then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago.
~ the secret garden ~
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