Uncle Josh’s Garden

Archie woke up today as if this was another normal morning.

And yet, looking back, this day would prove to be one

of the most important days of his life …

one that would start a chain of events that would

affect the lives of not only Archie and his friends,

but also the lives of many others Archie didn’t even know yet.

 

 

The sun was hot and a light breeze brushed the grass

when Archie strolled around the edge of the garden.

He heard “Hi, Archie,” many times as hewalked up to his friends

who were having breakfast together.Carly, Paul, Betty, and Larry were

already seated at the table and they were soon joined by Archie’s other friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As Archie sat down next to Carly Carrot to start breakfast,

he received a phone call from his dad. “Archie.

Hello, how are you?” said the voice on the phone.

“Dad. Hi. I’m fine, how are you and Mom?”

“Oh, fine too, but I want to talk to you about something

important if you have the time.”

“Of course I have the time,” said Archie.

Archie’s dad continued: “Your Uncle Josh is not doing very

well, I’m afraid. I spoke to him yesterday. It seems he and

many others are sick in his garden. Would it be possible

for you to go visit him to see what is the matter?”

“Sure, I guess so,” said Archie. “I haven’t seen Uncle Josh

in a while, though. Does he still live in the garden on the other

side of the forest?”

“Yes, that’s the one,” said Archie’s dad. “I would appreciate

your going to see Josh soon, and see if there is anything

that can be done for him and the others. I’m not sure what

the problem is, but it sounds serious, and your mother and I

are very worried. Someone needs to do something.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a couple more minutes of conversation, Archie said

good-bye to his dad and, putting away his phone, Archie said

out loud, “My dad doesn’t ask for help very often, so he must

really be worried about Uncle Josh. I’m going to hike to his garden right away.” 

Archie started to get up, and Carly said, “Archie, where are you going?”

After Archie described the conversation with his dad, Carly said,

“If you think you could use help, I would go with you.”

Hearing this, Zack Zucchini said, “Hey, Arch, I want to go too. I can help.”

Then Betty Broccoli said, “May I go?”Soon everyone was asking Archie

if they could hike with him to Uncle Josh’s.

Archie started to get up, and Carly said, “Archie, where are you going?”

After Archie described the conversation with his dad, Carly said,

“If you think you could use help, I would go with you.”

Hearing this, Zack Zucchini said, “Hey, Arch, I want to go too. I can help.”

Then Betty Broccoli said, “May I go?”

Soon everyone was asking Archie if they could hike with him to Uncle Josh’s.

 

 

 

“Wow,” said Archie. “OK, I guess we can all go. I’m not sure what’s happening at Uncle Josh’s garden, but maybe it will help to have us all there. Thanks, everyone, for volunteering.”

In a serious voice, Archie said, “It sounds as if many are sick in Uncle Josh’s garden, so I don’t know what we’ll find when we get there. There might be some danger on this trip.”

Everyone said to Archie that if he was going, they were going too.

“OK, then. Let’s get our backpacks ready, and those who want to go will meet here in an hour. Better bring plenty of water and food. It will take two days to walk across the valley and through the forest to reach Uncle Josh’s garden.”

“OK” and “No worries” and “That sounds great” could be heard from the others. Everyone sounded excited by the idea of going on a hike to help Archie’s uncle.

As Archie walked off towards the garden, Larry Lettuce could be heard saying, “Here we go again … another Archie Artichoke adventure is on the way!”

While Archie packed his backpack with food and water, a change of clothes, and a toothbrush and toothpaste, he thought: It sure is good to have friends. Everyone sounded as if they wanted to help. But I wonder what we’re going to find when we get to Uncle Josh’s garden. I hope I’m not leading my friends into danger.

When Archie strode back to the breakfast area he could see a crowd of his friends standing and talking together. Everybody was there: Carly Carrot, Paul Pepper, Betty Broccoli, Larry Lettuce, Cindy Celery, Simon Squash, Rhonda Radish, Zach Zucchini, and Tommy Tomato.

“Oh my gosh,” said Archie out loud, “everyone wants to go!”

“Hi, Archie,” they called out as he approached the group.

“Hi, everyone. I made a map of where we’re going, and here it is.”

The other vegetables came over to look as Archie spread the

map out on the table. “We’ll follow the path down the hill and walk

across the valley to the forest,” he said, tracing the way on the map

with a finger. “We’ll walk through the forest, and on the other

side we’ll find Uncle Josh’s garden. It’s only a little ways away from

the far edge of the forest. We’ll walk all day today and spend the

night in the forest. We should be at Uncle Josh’s sometime tomorrow.”

Archie glanced at his friends for any comments.

 

 

 

Cindy Celery said, “That sounds good to me.”

In a worried tone, Simon Squash said, “I’ve

never been to the other side of the forest, and I have

never campedat night away from our garden. But we’ll

all be together, so it’ll be fine.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And after that, the group started on the path

that meanders down the hill and passes the

little pond where everyone goes swimming

on hot summer days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When they trooped past the pond, Archie yelled to Fred the

Frog, who was sitting on a lily pad in the pond: “Hello, Fred.”

“Hello, Archie,” Fred yelled back, and added, “Hello, Carly

and Paul and Betty and Larry and Cindy and Simon

and Rhonda and Zach and Tommy.”

Fred was pretty much out of breath when he finished yelling

all those names, and when they had gone by, he said to himself,

Wow! That’s a lot of vegetables. They must be going someplace important.

“Good luck,” yelled Fred as the group of hikers continued down the trail.

Once off the garden hill and past the pond, Archie and his

friends started walking across the valley, towards the forest.

It was a hot day, so everyone soon realized this wasn’t

going to be an easy hike. After an hour or so of hiking,

Archie looked back and yelled to everyone, “It’s hot today,

so make sure you drink enough water.

We’ll fill up the water bottles once we get to Uncle Josh’s garden.”

“Right,” said Rhonda Radish.

“Gotcha,” yelled Tommy Tomato in agreement.

 

The group proceeded on, past all the weeds and trees

that live in the valley. The friends saw birds and butterflies

and ladybugs all around; it was certainly a beautiful

day for a hike.  Walking along, Archie thought, I wonder

what we’ll find at Uncle Josh’s garden. I hope it isn’t too

serious. Archie had heard of gardens sometimes getting

sick, and hoped he could solve whatever Uncle Josh’s

garden’s problem was.

 

 

Then Archie thought, It’s time for a song. He didn’t have to

think very much about what hiking song to sing. He had a

favorite and just started singing:

“I love to go a-wandering …”

First Carly Carrot joined in, then Zach Zucchini

and Betty Broccoli started singing along,

and soon everyone was singing.

 

"Val-deri, Val-dera,

Val-deri,

Val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.

Val-deri, Val-dera.

My knapsack on my back!"

.

"A Garden's Search For Water"

"Count On Me" - Bruno Mars from the Doo-Wops & Hooligans Album (2010)
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Archie's Dance Tune - Archie and Friends
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