Usuki Singing Stars #43: Lola's Spring Garden
"I'm so excited to start gardening!" Lola gushed to her friends. The yellow Cybunny closed her locker and clapped excitedly. "The garden will mainly grow flowers, tomatoes and carrots for now. But in the future, I'd like to expand it to add more vegetables."
Scary sighed. "And you're telling us this…WHY?" demanded the purple Bruce.
"I was wondering if I could invite some of my friends to come along and assist me with the gardening," Lola explained. "With a few extra hands, I'm sure I can get all the digging and planting done in one day."
Sparkles nodded. "I would love to help with the flower planting," said the pink Bruce, as the three girls exited Neoschool.
"Splendid!" cheered Lola.
Scary rolled her eyes. "Bo-ring," she drawled.
"I was also thinking that we could have a backyard picnic after the planting is all done," Lola continued. She hopped excitedly. "This is going to be such a fun Saturday!"
"You honestly want me to waste my precious Saturday gardening?" scoffed Scary. "Do you have any idea how dirty my clothes would get?"
"It sounds like a gardening party," said Sparkles happily, "and we'll be certain to be at your house nice and early! Then we'll get the gardening started."
"I repeat what I said before: bo-ring!" Scary groaned.
"You two are the best!" Lola gave her friends a hug and a beaming smile. "I'm certain my garden will flourish wonderfully as long as I have two of my closest friends by my side! And we'll have lots of fun, too!"
On Saturday morning, Lola woke up early and dressed herself in a white t-shirt and pair of denim overalls. She fed her Snorkle, Mr. Porkers, and headed to the backyard. The space Lola had designated for her garden was still covered with grass, and as she put on her gardening gloves and a sun hat, she looked around the plot for anything to remove. "Good thing Ms. Butterworth mowed the lawn yesterday," Lola said to Mr. Porkers. The Snorkle snorted.
"Alright, time to begin before the girls arrive!" Lola picked up her shovel and began digging into the ground. She placed all the dirt and grass into a wheelbarrow and, when the wheelbarrow was full, she would lug it to a corner of the yard and dump it. "We'll depose all of this later," Lola explained to Mr. Porkers, who was sniffing a bush.
For the rest of the morning, Lola continued to dig up the space with the assistance of Ms. Butterworth. The cloud Bruce was eager to help with the digging, and it was because of her that—by the early afternoon—the space had been completely dug up and ready for planting. "Well, I think we deserve a lunch break," Ms. Butterworth huffed. She wiped her face with a handkerchief and surveyed the yard. "This garden will surely spruce things up around here."
Lola nodded and happily skipped into the Neohome. As she opened a can of Petpet food for Mr. Porkers, she found a note addressed to her on the kitchen counter. "Who's this from?" Lola asked Ms. Butterworth.
"A carrier Weewoo," Ms. Butterworth explained. "He delivered it while you were digging."
After placing the can of Petpet food on the ground, Lola read the note:
We regret to inform you that neither Scary nor I will be able to attend your gardening party today. I have to prevent Snaw from breaking any of our dishes and Scary refuses to go. But I promise that we will come pay you a visit tomorrow afternoon—that is, if we're able to.
"Oh my," Lola gasped. "Sparkles and Scary aren't coming over today." She sighed and watched Mr. Porkers devour his meal. "Now what will we do? I was really hoping they'd come over and help us."
Ms. Butterworth patted Lola's shoulder. "Now dear, I'm sure we can manage with just the two of us. All we need is an extra can of elbow grease and a few water bottles!"
Lola nodded. "You're right. We have no choice but to continue; we're the only ones now!" Mr. Porkers squealed his response and ran around the kitchen excitedly.
With a variety of little seed packets, Lola made her way to the backyard and began dividing half the plot for her vegetables. While she worked, Mr. Porkers ran around the yard excitedly, squealing and chasing a Mootix that zoomed around him. After a while, he returned to Lola and nudged her arm with his head. "Sorry Mr. Porkers, but I'm busy right now," sighed Lola. She sat on her heels and wiped her forehead. "This would be a lot easier if I had a few extra hands."
Mr. Porkers nodded and squealed loudly. Two passing pets stopped and one of them, a baby Usul, squirmed in her sister's arms. "Baby Snorkle!" she cried. "He's so cute! Can we keep him?"
The blue Cybunny grunted. "No, Lucy. That Snorkle belongs to that nice Cybunny over there." She smiled at Lola. "My sister really loves Petpets."
"She's adorable," said Lola, beaming.
"Are you gardening? May I join you?" asked the blue Cybunny. Lola nodded, and the blue Cybunny placed her younger sister on the ground as she knelt beside Lola. "My name is Cassie," she explained, picking up a trowel. "Lucy and I were on our way to the park to admire all the newly planted tulips."
Lola nodded. "Those tulips are beautiful, aren't they?" she asked. "In fact, it's because of them that I decided to make my own garden."
"Look at me! I'm a faerie!" Lucy cried, flapping her arms as she chased Mr. Porkers.
Cassie giggled. "This garden of yours seems really fresh," she inquired. "It must have taken you ages to do all this work by yourself."
"But I didn't do it by myself," Lola insisted. "Ms. Butterworth helped me dig up the plot. I was planning on doing all the planting by myself, though."
"Don't you need any help?" asked Cassie, dropping the trowel. "I mean all this gardening work isn't easy for just one gardener, you know?" She shrugged. "If you want, I could stay a little while longer and help with some of the planting, at least. That is, if you want me to…"
Lola opened a packet of tomato seeds. "I don't know," she sighed. "My original plan was to have my friends come and help out. But then they had an emergency, so I thought I could do everything single-handedly to prove to myself that I could do everything without any help."
Cassie nodded. "So, how are you feeling now?"
"I think a few extra hands could go a great way," said Lola, smiling. "I mean this garden is a big job for one gardener, right?"
"Great! I'll help plant the seeds," Cassie offered.
Lucy ran towards the girls and shouted, "I want to help too!! I can be the gardening faerie!" She grabbed Cassie's trowel and waved it in the air like a magic wand.
For the remainder of the afternoon, Lola and Cassie worked diligently to plant all the seeds and plants in neat, orderly rows. Lucy, who had lost interest in the planting, chased Mr. Porkers around the yard with the trowel. Ms. Butterworth returned to the yard in time to help the girls finish the planting, and she sprayed the plants with an organic spray after watering them and the seeds. "This delivers important nutrients to the plants," she explained to Lola. "Spray this once a day and your plants will grow splendidly."
"This garden is absolutely perfect," Lola breathed, admiring the newly planted garden. She turned to Ms. Butterworth. "Is everything finished?"
"For today, everything is fine dandy," Ms. Butterworth proclaimed. "All we need now is a fence to keep nosy Petpets away from the plants." She smiled teasingly at Mr. Porkers.
"Oh Lola, you did it!" gasped Cassie. "Your garden is all ready! You must be really proud of yourself."
"I'm proud of myself because I saved Mr. Porkers from Dr. Sloth!" Lucy boasted.
Lola shook her head. "I couldn't have done any of the planting without you, Cassie. And Ms. Butterworth has helped me a lot today, too." She beamed. "So I'm proud of everyone for what they've done."
"This garden is going to grow wonderfully," sighed Ms. Butterworth. "I can't wait to see all the produce!"
"And Cassie, you and Lucy must come and visit again," Lola insisted, clasping her new friend's hands.
Cassie nodded eagerly. "We would love that! Right Lucy?"
"Yeah!" cheered Lucy. "Somebody has to save Mr. Porkers from the evil garden monsters!"
Lola laughed. "Thanks Lucy! I know I can count on you!"