Caleb and Jonah skipped down the side walk in a small city. They were on their way back to the yellow house at the end of Gilder Street.
The sun was suddenly covered by a gray cloud.
“Uh, oh,” Caleb said looking at Jonah despairingly, then added, “We’re gonna' get drenched!”
They ran down Peterson Street and rounded the corner. Gilder Street at last!
A minute later they found themselves, breathless and wet, at a large metal gate in front of a yellow house with white shutters and a stone path leading up to the porch.
Caleb, the elder of the two, very, very carefully reached back into the rose bushes and pulled a hidden rope. The gate swung back, and they ran through.
Caleb stopped long enough to pull the other security rope that shut the gate and ran past his brother shouting above the noise of wind and rain, “See ya' at the house!”
Both of them got to the porch in five seconds flat. Jonah rang the doorbell, and they waited.
“It’s a good thing we have a covered porch, so we don’t have to stand in bad weather until Mother answers the door,” Caleb remarked.
The door handle turned, and then the door opened. A short woman stood in the doorway. She had brown hair that was tightly coiled in a bun. Standing aside, she beckoned for them to come in.
“My goodness! You guys are really wet!” she said taking Jonah’s coat.
“The sun was out, and then the sky just dumped a ton of rain on us,” Jonah explained putting his hat on a peg.
“That’s the way Oregon’s weather is,” Caleb put in.
A big puddle of water had formed on the floor, so the boys’ mother took a couple rags and dried it up.
“Oh yes, I almost forgot,” Jonah said pulling a package out of his pocket, “Here is the sugar you wanted from the store, Mother. And here are your seeds, Caleb.”
Mother said, “Thank you.” She returned to the kitchen, and the boys went up the attic ladder and sat on their beds to talk. The window was open for cool air giving the room a fresh outdoor smell.
Caleb pulled a book off the shelf and flipped through it. “Aha! Here it is!” he said.
“What?” questioned his younger brother Jonah.
“It’s a book about how to plant giant pumpkins, and I’m reading it because I want to plant the largest pumpkin ever grown in the world to enter it in the fair!”
“Wow! Sounds fun! Could I help?” Jonah asked.
“Sure!” Caleb replied.
The two boys read about giant pumpkins; then they got a couple pots, a bag of soil, and the package of pumpkin seeds with their enthusiasm growing.
The sun had come out now, and it wasn't raining anymore. “Just like Oregon,” Caleb commented.
“Where is the hand shovel?” asked Jonah.
“Right there,” Caleb replied pointing behind him.
The boys heard a noise as the cat, Calico, scrambled up the attic ladder.
They filled three pots with soil, then opened a bag of seeds; and Caleb reached for a container to pour them into.
“Be careful,” Jonah said, “You know what a mess we’d have to clean up if you spilled those seeds.”
Calico chose that moment to walk in between Caleb’s legs and trip him which caused the seed packet to go flying, and Caleb to be knocked over. Caleb rubbed the bump on his forehead and said, “Jonah, where did the seed package go?”
“I don’t know,” Jonah replied, “The peculiar thing is that I don’t see the packet or any spilled seeds anywhere.”
Jonah looked under the beds to see if the envelope of seeds had slid under them, but he couldn't find it.
Caleb was looking by the windowsill when he held up a cream colored, flat seed. “Here’s one,” he said.
After a minute’s more searching, they found another one on the window sill and one under Jonah’s bed.
Caleb said that he saw some trash on the ground outside. They decided they’d go get it because their property was known for its cleanliness and beauty, and “it would never do to have trash lying around” Jonah had remarked.
After getting permission to go outside, they went out the back door. Jonah had put on his rain boots, and then he was enjoying stomping in puddles and getting himself and his brother quite soaked.
As they neared the piece of trash, the breeze tossed it into the rose bushes.
“Um,” said Caleb, “We’re gonna have to get that...”
“...and it’s going to be really thorny!” Jonah finished for him.
Caleb and Jonah reached their hands back into the rose bush’s thorny tangle and luckily only got a few thorns each.
“I got it!” cried Caleb.
He pulled out the white scrap of paper, and both boys stared at with a look of disbelief.
“But, how did it get down here?” Jonah asked.
“I...I guess it flew out the window during the incident with Calico... why didn't we think of that before?”
Caleb looked inside the pumpkin seed packet and told Jonah, “All the seeds must have fallen out because there’s not a single one left in here.”
“The bright side of it is that we still have three seeds to plant!” Jonah tried to sound hopeful.
“But what if those seeds fail to grow correctly or they die or we forget to water them or...”
“I know,” said Jonah, “but we can try! Can’t we?”
By the time the boys got back inside lunch was ready to be eaten.
They told Mother about their plan of growing a giant pumpkin and entering it in the fair.
“That’s a cool idea, boys! I hope you have great success!” Mother answered.
Afterwards Caleb and Jonah helped their mother with the dishes, and then they were free to go back into the attic.
In the attic, the two boys were ready to plant. They each took a seed, dug a hole in the soil with their finger, put the seed in the hole, and put some extra soil over top of it.
Caleb planted the remaining seed, then Jonah got a glass of water and watered the seeds.
“Splendid!” Caleb said joyfully.
They took the pots and placed them in the windowsill (being sure to shut the window).
Next was the cleanup. Jonah got a broom from downstairs and swept up the piles of dirt that had been spilled on the floor. Caleb put away the hand shovel, what was left of the bag of soil, and the cup they had used to water the seeds.
Finally the attic was tidy, so Caleb and Jonah went outside. Caleb mowed the lawn, and Jonah watered the roses.