“Perhaps she has a nut for me,” he said, scurrying to her yard.
A friend to all creatures, Marianna often treated Ringo to nuts, fresh vegetables or chunks of watermelon, which Ringo called juicy fruit, because of the way the sweet juices dripped down his furry chin.
“What are you doing? Burying food for winter?” he asked.
She laughed her soft tinkling laugh which Ringo so loved.
“I’m planting my garden.”
She held up the basket and Ringo sniffed the jumble of seeds.
“What are you planting?” he asked, cocking his head.
She scattered seeds in a shallow trench she had dug, patted the dirt over them lovingly, then sprinkled them generously with water from her watering can.
“These are seeds of change. I’m planting four rows of each – hope, love, kindness, and generosity. By tending the seeds carefully, we should have a bumper crop, and I’ll share with everyone, friends or strangers,” she said straightening up and pushing her dark hair from her forehead.
Heavy rains kept Ringo inside his nest for almost a week. When he next ventured to Marianna’s garden, she was reverently munching a pea pod. Ringo recognized spinach, lettuce, radishes and green onions growing robustly. He stopped short.
“But these are ordinary vegetables,” he sputtered. “I thought…”
Marianne touched his paw gently. “These may look ordinary, but they were planted with hope, tended with love, watered with kindness and shared with generosity,” she said, handing him a pea. They contain all these traits plus the kiss of the sun, moon, stars and rain. These are truly magical vegetables. If everyone planted these qualities with their seeds, it would be a kinder world.”
Ringo had to admit that Marianna’s vegetables tasted extra delicious, but more importantly, as weeks passed, he felt a change come over himself. He treated his friends more gently, patiently and generously, and they returned the favor. As he sat on a branch munching on sweet, ripe watermelon, he wondered, “If we all planted seeds of change, what would this world be like?