His bags were packed and he was ready to go.
The old rabbit—Twenty—stood by the garden gate, waiting for TwentyOne.
As he stood there waiting, he reflected back on the year.
“This was one crazy year and I’m grateful gardens and gardening turned out to be a bright spot for so many people,” he said to the chipmunks, squirrels, and birds who gathered nearby to watch him leave. Or were they there to make sure he left?
He looked down at the list of instructions he had written for TwentyOne.
The first item he listed was “order seeds early.” Twenty could not believe how seed companies scrambled to keep up with seed orders earlier in the year. So many people started to garden it seemed. He had wondered why. Was it something he had done or said?
No, it wasn’t something he’d done or said. It turned out people were staying home in droves to avoid a virus and discovered they had yards they could turn in to gardens. Twenty shook his head at the wonder of such a discovery and shivered a bit as he pulled his coat around his shoulders a little tighter and adjusted his face mask.
“I must also tell TwentyOne to be patient with all the new gardeners. Oh, sure, if he stays in Carol’s garden, he’ll be alright. She’s nice enough and smart enough to not require too much attention from him, but there are all those new gardeners…”
Just then Twenty heard the bells begin to toll to mark the end of the year. Nearby, someone began setting off fireworks. He took one last look at his list to choose the one item he wanted to be sure to mention to TwentyOne as he handed off the new year to him.
“Honestly, garden-wise, things are in good shape around here. I think TwentyOne will be fine if he just remembers what’s on this list, especially that last item.”
With that final thought, Twenty heard the loud ticking of his watch and realized it was nearly midnight. He took one last look around, bid his farewells, and turned to greet TwentyOne.
“Hello,” announced TwentyOne as he hopped into the garden, full of energy and enthusiasm. I’m so happy to be here. I’ve heard people have been anxious for me to arrive.”
“They have,” said Twenty. “And I have one piece of advice for you.”
Just then the clock struck midnight and Twenty, realizing his time was up, walk through the gate to The Past calling out, “Whatever you do, don’t…”
And then he was gone.
TwentyOne, excited for the new year, wondered briefly what Twenty said. “Don’t what? Oh, well, I’ll be fine. I’ve got his list around here somewhere and a whole year of gardening ahead of me!”
And with that, he hopped into the new year and the garden, ready to make it The Best Gardening Year Ever.