Abbey pushed open the back door and saw her mom and Ms. Jenkins at the table.

"Um, neat garden, Ms. Jenkins. Your cat came and looked at me but he didn't seem very friendly."

"He's not exactly un-friendly, but he's not the cuddly type," Maggie said. "So, Abbey, your mom and I thought that maybe you and Pearl could do a couple chores or something to make up for pushing down the fence.

"I guess that'd be fair." Abbey stared at her shoes. Not! It was all Pearl's idea to sneak over the fence. It was Pearl who stuck the toe of her sneaker into the chainlink, Pearl who grabbed Abbey's shoulder and stood up on that foot jammed into the chainlink, Pearl who fell over the fence and took Abbey down with her.

"It might have been Pearl's idea to hop that fence," Maggie said. "I don't really know, but I won't ask for too much. Raking a little, carrying out the junk — if you and Pearl and I spend some time together getting the garden ready for spring, maybe you and Pearl can see that I'm not such a weird old lady after all."

Abbey could feel her cheeks heating up; she hated how she blushed so easily. She stared at her shoes more intently, missing Maggie and her mother exchanging amused glances, both barely managing to maintain serious expressions. "Sure, that sounds good I guess. I mean, um, we don't think you're weird, really, Pearl and me just, um, just..."

Created by kristin. Last Modification: Saturday 17 of September, 2005 12:24:00 EDT by kristin.