The Farm Word Count 646
Jake and Betsy Riley bought a thirty acre farm which included a barn, hog pen, and an old farm house. Jake paid for the farm with funds from his 401k, and they used the royalties from Betsy’s novel, The Comet, to pay for the renovations. While they decided the barn and hog pen had to wait for another royalty check, the farm house was fixed to a tee. They were so proud of their farm house.
“I wouldn’t trade our farm house for Donald Trump’s mansion in Palm Beach.” Betsy said.
“And I wouldn’t trade you for Ivana,” Jake joked. “However, you could begin calling me ‘The Jake.’”
Betsy and Jake teased each other for a while, but anyone listening would have seen how much they loved one another. Working together and sharing the cost is how they were able to acquire this beautiful farm.
Spring arrived and Betsy said, “Jake, let’s plant a garden. When I was a child, I used to help my parents plant a garden. We could plant corn, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, and okra. If we could get the pig pen repaired, we could have bacon. I love BLT sandwiches.”
“Not okra,” Jake said. “That stuff is too slimy. How about rhubarb? My grandmother used to make rhubarb pie. It was so good and had a slightly sour and tangy taste. I can taste it already.”
“It’s agreed,” Betsy said. “We’ll plant a garden. I can already see and taste our garden vegetables. Jake, have you ever eaten frogmore stew? Some people call it low country boil. It is red potatoes, onions, and corn on the cob cooked together with sausages and shrimp. It is so good. Paula Deen adds seasoning such as bay leaves. I have her recipe. With our fresh garden vegetables, we could invite all the neighbors over, and have one big feast.”
“Whoa Betsy!” Jake said laughing. “We haven’t even started and you’re already making low country boil. The garden needs plowing, and we don’t have a plow. I noticed bushes growing in the garden that are big enough to make firewood. We would first have to clear the timber off the garden before we could plow it.”
“I’m way ahead of you Jakey boy,” Betsy said. “Here is an ad from a neighboring farmer who has agreed to get the garden ready to plant for a mere two hundred dollars. Should I hire him?”
“Gosh, Betsy, You’re on the ball,” Jake said. “How long have you been planning this garden? We’ll need seed and fertilizer.”
“Again, I am way ahead of you,” Betsy said smiling from ear to ear.
The following morning while it was nice and cool, Jake and Betsy started planting. Jake started digging and immediately dug up a locked wooden box. He shouted for Betsy.
“Come look,” he said, shaking the box. “Betsy, what do you think is in it? It sounds like paper sliding back and forth. Do you think it might be money?”
“Money?” Betsy echoed. “Open it Jake, open it!”
“I’ll see if I can find a screwdriver to take the hinges off the box,” Jake said as he headed toward the barn. “I could just burst it open with a rock, but it’s a nice box, in fact, too nice to destroy.”
“Wait,” Betsy said. “If it is a lot of money let’s decide what we’re going to do with it. I suggest a cruise.”
“I suggest purchasing a bass boat,” Jake said as he came back to the garden with a screwdriver. “We’re only about three miles from a nice lake.”
“We’ll decide after we get the box open,” Betsy said.
Jake took the hinges off and no one would ever have guessed what was in the box.
It was an autographed copy of the novel, Web Secrets, by Ronnie Dauber.
NOTE: Won Second Place in the Aspiring Writers and Short Story Competition