I was walking around my parent’s yard the other day with the girls when we came upon an old broken down green house. Clara was particularly curious about it, and as we walked its perimeter she inspected the different parts of the structure closely.
“This is Gran’s greenhouse from when I was a young boy.” I explained to the little girl as she knelt in an overgrown bed of weeds. “We used to grow tomatoes and things inside.”
Clara nodded in casual interest. She touched the hard dirt around the wall and gently shook the door to test the hinges. Then she looked up brightly and said, “Dad, I think we could fix this up and make it work again.” The sun sparkled in her brown hair and her warm intelligent eyes glowed with youth. I was impressed with her forethought and vision. She was so young, and yet, so full of original ideas and innocent plans. I started to say as much when she suddenly lit up with a brilliant new thought and interrupted me. “Hey, maybe when Gran is in heaven we can have this green house and bring it to our yard and fix it up.”
I was a bit shocked. “Clara!” I said, “That’s an especially weird and not so nice thing to say. We don’t want Gran’s greenhouse and it is not nice at all to talk about taking people’s things after they go to heaven.”
She seemed thoughtful. For a second it seemed as if my message had gotten through to her, but then I noticed the faraway look in her eyes and understood that she wasn’t actually paying any attention to me. Her mind was no doubt continuing to playfully race down this new pathway of thought.
This was confirmed when a strange smile crept across her face and still staring into the ether she said softly to herself, “Oooooh… But Grandma Kuenning has a much nicer greenhouse.” Still smiling to herself, she walked off into the yard, her sinister hands clasped somewhere secretly behind her back. She began to whistle and stepped on a bug.
I quietly wished that Agatha Christie could have been around to see her.