Cuttings

Radishes

ILLUSTRATION BY KAYLA AGUIAR

Often in the Spring she comes. It started when she was 2 or 3 and she spent much of her time dropping worms in the pond for the turtles and trying to ride Bozley the Beagle, singing his sweet song, “Bozley the beagle, he flies like an eagle and he does things, things that are illegal, he is Bozley the beagle.”

Suddenly she is 6, my little red-headed niece Natasha Boo, and she has a garden at home. I called and asked, “What shall we plant this year?”

“Radishes!” she demanded with glee.
“Radishes??” I said, “Radishes??”
“Oh, yes,” she said. “Definitely radishes.”
“You are 6. You don’t like radishes.”
“I am 7. And I like radishes,” she demanded.

So I dutifully planted radishes. Turns out radishes grow fast and I planted more than I thought. A month later she called and asked what she should plant in her garden. I said, “Zucchini! They grow quickly, have great big leaves, and you get lots of zucchini. You can bring them to your friends. Zucchinis make people happy!”

She said, “But I don’t like zucchini.”

I replied, “I don’t like radishes and that didn’t stop me. If radishes were money, I would be a rich man.” She laughed the purest and deepest of laughs. “You really grew radishes? No one likes radishes.”

Now, every year I grow radishes and I hear her song and I feel her laugh, my little red-headed niece Natasha Boo.

—By Dave Reinitz of Burbank, CA.


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