Looked like the gardener missed some weeds again. Marcus was one of the best gardeners around, so Tiffany could overlook his minor faults. She really did love the color of the deep pink color of the flowers this year that he had planted.
“Good Morning Miss Tiffany! Out for your morning stroll. I trust the garden meets your expectations?”
“You have given it your magic touch Marcus, but there are some weeds that you missed back there.” She pointed behind her.
“I would have pulled them, but I had no gloves and one can’t expect me to use my bare hands to pull up dreadful weeds.”Disgust crossed her face.
“I will see to it right away Miss.”
He turned around and muttered as he walked. “One can’t expect you to do anything with your bare hands, Miss Fancy pants!”
Marcus should be more careful with what he said out loud, even if the words were true. If Miss Tiffany would hear him, he would be without a job and with a baby on the way, he had to keep working for sure. Cyndi, his wife, was counting on his paycheck.
Marcus pulled the tiny weeds and was headed back inside for a refreshing, cold drink when he noticed something else on the ground. A rather large rock. He bent down to pick it up, before Miss Tiffany tripped over it and twisted her ankle.
He was going to throw it out of the garden when he saw the writing on the bottom of the rock. Someone had taken a black marker to it. He read the words twice and pondered what they might mean, if anything.
“X marks the spot” The spot for what? It was probably nothing, just Miss Tiffany’s nephews playing a game. They had been here for a few weeks and played outside a lot. He tossed the rock out of the garden.
“Watch out Chester!” His wife yelled.
SPLAT! Sadly it was too late for Chester. Since when did they have to worry about flying rocks! It was tough being a slow caterpillar. All the caterpillars were in shock at the death of their friend.
Marcus walked through the rest of the garden double checking everything. Miss Tiffany’s guests were coming tomorrow. Things had to be perfect and he smiled, for it looked like they were.
Walking back to the house he passed the rock that he had thrown. Wow! It was covered with caterpillars. He didn’t know if he had ever seen so many caterpillars at one place before.
Miss Tiffany’s party the next day was a grand success. She was thrilled that her garden was chosen to be pictured in next month’s edition of Beautiful Gardens.
A few weeks later Marcus was on the way to the garden and he saw it. He saw the X. It was partially hidden but he saw it. Was there anything under it? Should he start digging under the bush? He figured why not, what did he have to lose?
Sweat was pouring from him. He had to finish digging soon. Miss Tiffany was due back and she would wonder what he was doing. This had all been a waste of time, he should have….Oh he saw a gold glint! Marcus couldn’t believe what he was looking at. He had found gold!! Gold coins!
“Marcus! Oh Marcus where are you?”
That was Miss Tiffany, she must be back early. He didn’t want her to see the gold.
“I will be right there Miss Tiffany, I am coming.” He hurried off to see what she wanted.
That was him, the man who threw the rock that smashed poor Chester. Something had to be done! Dennis watched the man leave and he called an emergency meeting of all the garden critters.
Marcus was getting nervous, he wanted to get back out to his gold. Miss Tiffany though had other plans. She had him rearranging her furniture! He was a gardener not an interior decorator, but here he was hanging pictures as well.
He was in her house for the rest of the evening. By the time he came outside it was dark. Thankfully she had garden lights and he had a high powered flashlight. Excitement was rising up in him. Cyndi, would be ecstatic about the gold!
Finding the bush he …. Wait, where was the hole? This had to be the bush. The X was there and so was the shovel. Panic seized him. He wanted that gold.
Grabbing the shovel he started to dig and he kept digging everywhere, like a madman. When he couldn’t dig anymore due to exhaustion he hung his head in despair. The gold was gone. One moment of ecstacy and then it was gone! He headed home, he could barely keep his eyes open. Tomorrow he would cover up all the holes before Miss Tiffany was awake. She was a late riser.
Excitement stirred in the burrow. The caterpillars, bunnies, squirrels and chipmunks were having a party. They were all friends at Miss Tiffany’s garden and Chester had been a well respected caterpillar. He was loved by everyone. So they all were more than happy to help the caterpillars get revenge.
They took all of the gold into the rabbit’s burrow and the squirrels buried some. The chipmunks weren’t really sure what to do with it. They tried to eat it, but it wasn’t tasty at all. The main thing was that they had taken it from the man. “Hip hip hooray!” They all cheered, as a few tears spilled out of the eyes of Chester’s family.
Why was photography equipment set up? Marcus felt a a feeling of dread when he pulled into Miss Tiffany’s driveway. She was standing on the porch looking none too happy. He knew he was late, he had overslept, but…. Then it hit him. He had totally forgotten. They were taking photos today of Miss Tiffany’s garden for the magazine!
She was at his car as soon as he opened the door and her face was beet red!
“You are late and why are there holes everywhere?,” she shrieked!
Poor Marcus, it was going to be a LONG day!