Hal and Mab hoed and raked their gardens. When it did not rain they watered their corn and beans, and they were anxious for the time to come when they could really eat some of the things they had grown. Daddy Blake said Mab’s beans might be ready to pick green, so they could be boiled, in about six weeks, but Hal’s corn would not be ready for ten weeks. Then the ears would be filled out enough so they could be boiled and eaten with salt and butter. Corn grows more slowly than beans.
“When will we have anything to eat from our garden?” asked Mother Blake one day, when the Summer sun had been beaming down on the green things for a week.
“Well, we’ll see,” said her husband. “Come with me, Hal and Mab. I’ll take you to the garden and we’ll see what we can find.”
“My beans aren’t ready yet,” said Mab.
“And there are only little, teeny ears of corn on the stalks in my garden,” Hal said.
“We’ll see,” said Daddy Blake.
He led the children to a plot of earth he himself had planted. Hal and Mab saw some dark green leaves in long rows.
“Pull up some of them,” directed Daddy Blake.
Hal did so. On the end of the leaves, growing down in the ground, was something round and red.
“It’s a little beet!” cried Mab, clapping her hands in delight.
“No, they’re radishes!” exclaimed Hal. “Aren’t they, Daddy?”
“Yes, those are red early radishes. Here are some white ones over here for you to pull, Mab. They are called icicles.”
Mab gave a cry of delight as she pulled up some long, white radishes. They did look a little like icicles.
“Radishes grow very quickly,” said Daddy Blake. “They are ready to eat in about five weeks after the seeds are planted—sooner even that the quickest beans. But of course radishes do not keep over winter. They must be eaten soon after they are pulled, and they make a good relish with bread and butter. We’ll have some for dinner.”
And the Blakes did. It was the first thing they had from their new garden, and Hal and Mab, who were allowed to eat a few, thought the radishes very good.
Just as the children were getting up from the table one morning, to go out and hoe a little among the corn and beans before going to school, they heard a barking, whining, growling noise out in the yard, and the voice of Sammie Porter could be heard crying:
“Oh, stop! Stop! Go on away! You’re bad! Oh, come take him away! Oh! Oh!”
“Something has happened!” cried Daddy Blake, jumping up from his chair. “I hope Sammie isn’t hurt!”
THE POTATOES’ EYES
Hal and Mab ran after their father as he hurried out into the yard. They could hear Sammie crying more loudly now, and above his voice sounded a growling and barking noise.
One part of the fence, between the Blake yard and that where Mr. Porter had made his garden, was low, so that the two children could look over. They saw Sammie standing near the fence, greatly frightened, and looking at a tangle of morning glory vines in which something was wiggling around and making a great fuss.