“Ben’s Corner of the Yard,” Friend, May 1993, 40
There is a big bush in his corner, and a few smaller bushes.
Some weeds grow there too. Ben’s corner is shady and cool, even when the sun is very warm.
When Daddy gave him the corner, he said, “Ben, you can do anything you want to in your corner of the yard. You can dig a hole big enough to jump into, or plant a garden, or make roads for your trucks. You can do whatever you want to there.”
“Thank you,” Ben said. He sat in his corner of the yard and thought and thought about what he wanted to do with it. Digging a big hole might be fun.
Planting a garden might be fun. He liked watching things grow.
Making roads for his trucks might be a lot of fun.
But any of those things would certainly change his corner of the yard.
He thought some more.
“What did you do in your corner today, Ben?” His father asked when he came home from work.
“Nothing yet,” said Ben. “I’m thinking about it.”
The next day when he went out to his corner, he saw a little bird building a nest in the very top of the big bush. He was careful to walk quietly so that he wouldn’t frighten the bird. Maybe she thought his corner was her corner too.
He saw a hole under one of the small bushes.
Was it a snake hole? He thought it was too big for a snake.
Was it a mouse hole? He didn’t think so. It looked way too big for a mouse.
He sat cross-legged in his corner, as still as a mouse himself, and waited.
The little bird continued to build her nest. She sang a song as she worked.
Ben was very good at waiting. He watched the busy little bird. He waited … and waited some more. Then he heard a little noise.
He didn’t move, but his eyes got big and round as a little rabbit nose poked out of the hole. Fuzzy gray ears came next. Soon a whole rabbit hopped out of the hole. Maybe Ben’s corner was the rabbit’s corner too.
It was hard to sit so still, but Ben didn’t move. The rabbit’s nose wiggled this way and that way, smelling Ben’s corner. And smelling Ben.
Ben sat very, very still.
The rabbit hopped right over to his tennis shoe and sniffed it all over. He wished that he could touch the rabbit, but he knew that that would scare it away.
He sat very quietly until the rabbit finished smelling his shoe and hopped away under the hedge at the back of the yard.
Then Ben smiled. He knew what he was going to do with his corner of the yard.
Nothing at all.