Death Of A Garden Pest*

“You haven’t got a temperature,” Mum says, shaking her head and the thermometer.  Dad has just rescued me from the flat.

“Am sorry,” I say, pulling the furry blanket around myself.  “Am still ill.  Still have a sore throat and an earache and my legs are wobbly and…”

“You haven’t got a temperature though,” Mum says, looking cross.

“Well if I did, you’d only have to take me to hospital,” I say.  “And you wouldn’t like that.”  Remember that it is very bad for people having cancer treatment to get temperatures.

“True,” Mum says.  “But you should be at the office.”

“They don’t want me sneezing at the office and infecting the rest of them,” I say.  “Where’s my cat?  He will be nice to me.”

“He’s out,” Mum says.  “He has patrolling to do.  Right: I’m going to the garden centre to find something to put in the hanging baskets and…”

“I’ll come with you,” I say.  “Can take some photos for the blog.”

“Make sure you’re wearing a coat,” Mum says.

At the garden centre, we meet these animals.  They are handmade from recycled materials by artist Aaron Jackson.

Also there is a Halloween garden, look:

“I hope you’ll be well enough to visit Seb at the weekend,” Mum says, putting a tray of white pansies into the trolley.

“Well if I die of this disease before Friday, you’ll have to go instead,” I say.  “Can’t waste my expensive train ticket.”

“I’ll send the fluffy monster,” Mum says, picking up a tray of mixed purple and white violas.

“But how will he know where to change trains?” I say.

“I’ll pack him a little suitcase and put a note round his neck stating his destination,” Mum says.  “Someone will help him and…”

“No, this is a terrible idea.  He’s not going,” I say, picking up some plants.  “I like these violet pansies – they’ve got the prettiest faces.”

The gourds in the attached photo are at the farm shop.

Happy Tuesday everyone!
*1996.  By Ann Ripley.  Gardening crime fiction cozy mystery.

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