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The Gardener

There once was a man who loved to garden. Year after year he would work in his gardens. At first his gardens were quite ordinary, but as the years went by they developed a certain maturity. His neighbors, unbeknownst to him, would throw small parties so that others could appreciate his gardens. His gardens, over the years, became the talk of the county. Everyone he passed on the street, if they recognized him, would remark to him how beautiful his gardens were. He would thank them and say wait till next year. And next year would always be better.

As time went by, the gardens became a place for wildlife to take refuge and enjoy. Bees, butterflies, birds and hummingbirds, deer, rabbit, the occasional fox, wolf and coyote would all stop by and admire the man’s handiwork. Often while gardening, a monarch or hummingbird would stop to enjoy his garden and put on a display of appreciation for him. He took to bringing a camera with him when he worked in his gardens, but was never able to get a shot of them in his gardens. They proved to be too elusive.

Truth be told, while the man loved his gardens, he hated weeding, but understood it to be a necessary evil. Every day he went out to weed, he would think of friends who were out playing and feel a sense of jealousy however briefly. But he knew he loved what he was doing and he knew he loved the results. So he toiled relentlessly in his gardens, always planning for next year, creating visions in his mind of how things could be improved.

One day while gardening, the man experienced a perfect moment of peace: there were no issues, no problems, his mind was as clear as the sky, his eyes as radiant as the sun.

At that moment of peace, he laid down in his garden and peacefully died. His camera fell from his pants pocket and flipped on. From nowhere butterflies appeared and covered his body. The elusive hummingbirds came in droves as well as bees and other birds. Deer, rabbit, fox, raccoon, wolf, opossum and others all gathered beside his gardens and knelt before the man. Only a baby rabbit, not knowing any better displayed some disrespect and started eating at a leaf, but he was quickly slapped by his parents for not showing respect.

After a few moments, the flyers picked up his body and flew it away, leaving his perfect garden in perfect harmony.

And a camera with the most amazing shots of nature’s displays of affections.