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Home » Kid stories » JEAN SHEPHERD KID STORIES Selling Seeds 6 of 7

JEAN SHEPHERD KID STORIES Selling Seeds 6 of 7

So I had sold all my seeds.  Somehow I felt like a real crook, a real cheat.  But I learned a lot about salesmanship and the fact that I never could do it.  And I had the dollar and a quarter and the next day I went in to Miss Shields and I plunked it down.  Jack Robinson plunked it down, Maurine Robinson plunked it down, Joshaway came in.  He’d only sold three packages so he had a cheapy old man.  Everybody plunked it down.  Well, now that I think about it, it was obvious that everybody’s family bought the seeds.  But nobody would admit that Uncle Fred bought them all.

So my old man bought all the seeds, and here’s the way it all ended.  I came from a family that was totally urban.  We had never ever grown anything, ever, in our entire existence.  We lived nearby where there were people who grew things.  Well, about four months later, out back of the garage, my mother was digging.  Our backyard was made entirely of ashes.  My mother was out there digging a hole in the ashes.  Clearing ashes out from behind the garage, of course she was finding old tire irons and stuff, and she made a little plot that was about as wide as the garage.  About seven feet wide and about four feet the other way and she planted all our little seeds, the whole shebang back there in this little plot, and she made a little fence out of string.

Incredibly enough, this stuff grew.  We had three inch high hollyhocks—the new dwarf hollyhocks my mother created.  Another thing she created out of those original seeds was the morning glory scourge.  The morning glories took hold like they were out of their skulls.  They completely covered the whole neighborhood, they killed what little lawns there were, they killed seven trees.  Some of those morning glory vines went over four miles into the next county.

Tremendous success with the morning glories.  So my mother got that look in her eye.  Since that day, because of the seeds, every year my mother was out in the soil of Indiana, trying to grow orchids.  She’d bought orchid seeds.  Of course they never grew.  She was trying to grow rare tropical plants, all kinds of things which can never make it.  And she had the greatest collection of crummy looking, shaggy, rotten, smelly irises.

ONE MORE “SELLING SEEDS” TO COME!

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