It was a quiet Sunday morning when all of the sudden I heard a commotion in the kitchen. Is Susan making breakfast? I wondered. I got out of bed to find Farmer Small running across the kitchen table, yelling at an enormous cucumber.
"Where did this come from?" he screamed.
"Where did he get a gun?" asked Susan.
"The cucumber is from the Grumpy Farmer, and I'm not totally sure where he got the gun - maybe from my sister."
"No guns in the house," said Susan as she left me to deal with the situation
" I have rights," yelled Farmer Small.
"Actually," I said, "you don't. You need a license for a gun and you're not a person so you can't have a gun license."
" I am so a person." said Farmer Small.
This ought to be good, I thought. "Explain that."
"I incorporated myself, and corporations are people my friend, and people can have gun licenses!"
I mulled that over as I considered everything else that was on my mind. The band was holding auditions this morning in my house and I needed a shower before they arrived; my dog can't spell, which I didn't realize was a deficit with dogs until recently; and I was competing in a scavenger hunt with 27 extremely smart and competitive women this afternoon and had to bring my best game. Farmer Small continued to stare at me defiantly. I decided to bring out my own big guns.
"Who is in charge here?" I asked him.
"Susan," he said.
"Right." I said "And what did she say?"
"She said no guns in the house."
Farmer Small was not happy. He kicked the cucumber as he walked by it, and muttered something uncomplimentary at me in his tiny voice. I hope his day gets better.
Another small harvest.
"Good news!" said Farmer Small. "I figured out how to solve the scary big vegetable problem."
"That's great," I said. "What did you come up with?"
Farmer Small took me into the kitchen to show me his solution. "It's a cantaloupe, " he said proudly.
" Why isn't it still growing on the vine?" I asked.
"I figured I'd pick it before it got too big. You can tell what it is."
"Yeah, but it's not ripe - no one will eat that."
"You eat what we grow? "
"That's the point of the garden," I said.
"Not to me, said Farmer Small, I just grow it."
"You don't eat it?" I asked
He shot me a look of pity. "I'm plastic," he said, "I don't eat anything. You going to eat that big mystery vegetable?"
" I'm going down to see the Grumpy Farmer today, and if he knows what it is, I'll probably eat it."
"I'm not sure I'd trust that guy," said Farmer Small, but it's up to you."
Farmer Small wasn't too happy today when I finally caught up with him.
"What's up? " I asked.
"Look how big this is now," he said pointing to the mystery vegetable.
"I thought you liked big vegetables," I said.
"This is too big - I could get squashed by this thing!"
"That's funny," I said.
"It's not funny," he shouted. " I'm serious!" Enraged, he tried to stamp his plastic foot, which didn't work because his plastic legs don't bend.
"I thought you were making a joke, you know, squashed by a squash . . ."
Apparently Farmer Small was not joking. I left him muttering about his thoughts and fears and went inside to write. Next time I can't find Farmer Small I will, however, check under the mystery vegetable . . . just in case.
Farmer Small enjoying the garden.
I spent part of this past weekend hanging around in the garden but I didn't see much of Farmer Small. I finally found him lounging in the sun on the unidentified vegetable, which had developed unusual porportions.
"Figure out what this is yet?" I asked.
"Nope," said Farmer Small.
"Aren't you concerned that you can't identify the vegetables growing in the garden?"
"I know most of them," he said. "This one seems kind of familiar. And it's comfortable, so I thought I'd just sit here for awhile."
And that's what he did for a few hours, just whiling away the time with a smile on his face. Can't really fault him for that.
"We've got BIG tomatoes in Maine! " says Farmer Small.
This past week was one in which I travelled, so I didn't get to spend as much time in the garden as I would have liked. I did, however, see the grumpy farmer down in Concord, MA and he not only gave me a tour of his garden plot, but he also sent me home with approximately 3 dozen cherry tomatoes. When Farmer Small saw the cherry tomatoes he was not impressed.
"They're small." he said.
"They're cherry tomatoes," I said, "they are supposed to be small. And they are very tasty."
"Big tomatoes are better!" said Farmer Small.
While his response is clearly not gracious, I figure that Farmer Small is getting antsy because the growing season is coming to an end and he knows that he's about to be tossed into the garden plot to winter over. He's getting concerned about whether he'll make it through the roto-tilling in the spring without losing a little plastic limb. I don't know why he's worried - that's months away! Anyway, on behalf of Farmer Small and the other members of this household, many thanks to the grumpy farmer for a lovely visit and the delicious cherry tomatoes.