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Down in the Garden - April Burk Clark

Down in the Garden - April Burk Clark


16" x 19.5" x 1/2"



Barbara Bockman


Livia comes outside barefoot. “Backyard puddle-jumping is magical after the rain. Here, Dolly. Let’s play on the patio. I’ll dress you up in Mommy’s old jewelry. How pretty you look. Uhuuu! Go away, squirmy worm. I’m afraid of little bugs. I guess the rain washed you up. You can’t worm your way into the patio. Here, let me help you to the grass.” Livia frowns and shivers, but she reaches for the worm, anyway. She holds the worm by two fingers. “Stop struggling.”

“Sigh.” The worm rubs his face on a blade of grass. He nods to Livia and wiggles into the ground.

Nearby, an old walking stick drags himself along. He wobbles on stick-like legs. 

“Your progress is very slow, sir,” says Livia. “Well, I touched a worm, so I guess I can touch a walking stick. Let me put this little crutch under your front leg.”

“That should help,” Livia tells him. As best he can, the walking stick waves to Livia with one of his rickety legs.


“Eeekk! I don’t want to be stung.” Livia swipes at the bee. “Silly me,” says Livia. “You don’t want to sting me. You’re looking for pollen. Dolly’s pretty jewels are as colorful as blossoms. But they’re not flowers. Come with me. You can get lots of nectar and pollen from these real flowers, Miss Bee.”  “Buzzzzz!” says the bee.

Dragonflies flit around the flowers. Butterflies join the aerial ballet. “May Dolly and I join your dance?” says Livia. Livia, with her doll, dances all around the flower garden. Livia hums as she dances. 

“Wheeeu!” says Livia, wiping her brow.  She climbs into the hammock, holding Dolly. The drone of bumblebees lulls her to sleep. A spider weaves an umbrella-like cover over Livia. Livia smiles while she has a most wondrous dream. Livia wakes up. “My dream has come true!"

Dragonflies sparkle on her ears like living jewels. Around her wrist march a ring of ladybugs. She wears a belt of glossy June bugs. Two sprightly grasshoppers hold her hair back like barrettes. About her neck, a lovely chain of blinking fireflies twinkle on an off, on and off. A Luna moth hovers in front of Livia. “You were so kind and helpful to those little creatures, Livia, we decided to reward you.” Livia holds her hand out for the moth to land on.

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