Arty the Fly and the Great Vegetable Garden Rescue

       R. J. Rangel
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R. J. Rangel

For the Bees.

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There once was a fly and his name was Arty. Arty was a fruit fly who lived inside an old maple tree. Inside a small hole to be exact. This hole was not very big for you and me, but for a fly it was a big two story house.

It was a cold and snowy Christmas eve morning in Lemonade city, Lemonade city is a big noisy and cold city, fog usually covers the streets and cars that zoom by are barely visible in mornings. The only thing that can be seen off in the distance are the Christmas lights on street poles and houses. Besides being shivering cold during the mornings, the town is a jolly town, and the sun comes out everyday around the holidays.

Most of the people of lemonade city work in factories that build heater appliances; being so cold during the mornings they have focused on working in particular jobs and trades. Now about the heaters that they build, there are big tall heaters that warm up entire neighborhoods and there are small heaters that may warm up a persons shoes or couch.

Then there is the the Jacket5000, It is a jacket with a built in heater, it is very expensive and only a few can afford the Jacket5000.
Yes the people of Lemonade city are very smart and love to be kept warm.
They are master heater builders for they live in the coldest city in the world, but this is not a story of the people living in the city but a story of the insects and animals living in this small city inside a maple tree.

Arty the fly was in his kitchen drinking a cup of garlic tea. He got up and buzzed to the front door which was just a dried up maple leaf cupping the hole that lead to the outside, Arty then snagged a coat from the coat rack and buzzed outside.

“brrbrb oh man its a really cold day today” said Arty with a queer voice.

Arty leaned down to pick up the local newspaper “The daily bug glow”.
(The Front page read “Lot Has Been Bought, Insects and animals to find a new home!… What do we dooo!!!!”)

What the heck is going on? “this is complete nonsense” wailed Arty chuckling a bit.

It was now about mid day and outside birds flew, and critters buzzed, it looked like another normal day to Arty. The garden below was thriving with a community of voices and noises, bugs walked with their friends some carried shopping bags other held leaf cups filled with intoxicating plant juices which they all loved to drink. Most bugs in the world drink this type of juice, it is like coffee but with a buzz.

“Morning Arty” said Harry.

Harry was a red lady bug, he lived a few branches away from Arty. Harry wore brown pants but no shirt because when he needed to fly off quickly he would usually tear off his shirt with his powerful wings.
“Did you hear? Said Harry, I heard they are going to build a three story apartment where our vegetable garden is. Its all over the newspaper, it looks like somebody already bought this old property!”

Arty reexamined the newspaper, “wata” arty said. “could this be true” Arty said rubbing his chin in a thoughtful gaze.

Lucy the old spider that lives on the north side of the fence said she has seen the big people build years ago. They take away all the grass and plants with big loud metal machines. Then they add water over the ground that turns hard as a rock after that nothing else can grow there again. The ground becomes hard as stoned she said.

Harry then continued with somewhat of an afraid tone in his voice. “They will take away our vegetables that we worked so hard to grow this season Arty, Arty are you listening to me ?”.
“Uh ye yes Harry”Arty said.

“If they do that then we wont have any food or jobs, or a place to buzz out. Do you realize that arty , the garden is our home our great grand insects first cultivated these lands”.

Harry was now shaking and buzzing like a buzzed out bumble bee “ We wont even have time to move and we will have to move out of this maple tree that is home to thousand of insect friends and animals!”.

“What are we going to do Arty”, said Harry almost crying.

“Now now Harry calm down, don’t get too buzzed out just yet, for now start making some pieces of maple tree paper from the branches below but get the old side of the bark we don’t want to damage this tree even more. Hurry Harry will inform the whole insect city of what must happen soon.”
Arty the fly flew back into his tree hole, he prepared a tea of of organically homegrown chamomile and chopped pieces of fresh garlic.

Arty with a tea cup in one hand sat down in his favorite sitting spot, It was a small torn piece of tissue paper that smelled like watermelon. Arty sipped on his tea and began to think.
If the big people come and take away our vegetable garden then I wont be able to grow my chamomile and garlic, without that I wont be able to make my favorite tea again plus that is where all my bug friends hangout.
Harry tightening up his little insect rod of a hand, it curled up looking like an old
harry grape vine. “ I HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS! ” he said.

Arty then decided to only come out of his tree hole until he created a plan to help save the vegetable garden. So he thought a little then he thought some more.

“I got it!!” Arty jumped up with so much excitement that he hit his head on the ceiling. Arty’s plan was going to have to wait till tomorrow. He dozed off and fell asleep besides anybody would fall asleep after a hit like that, that insect hit himself really hard in the head, but they don’t say much in these type of stories, they are usually for parents who need a quick story to put their young kid to sleep. Anyways back to Arty and his plan.

I shall go to every insect home in this maple tree and ask them to help me make the vegetable garden even bigger and better, so that the big people can also harvest fresh local food.They will love our delicious veggies so much that they will decide to keep the garden.

Something like this had never been done before in lemonade city’s insect history.

A few days passed and surprisingly arty managed together up all of the insects out on the vegetable garden.

It was decided that they would plant 4 rows of Cherry tomatoes, 4 rows of Beef Steak tomatoes, 10 rows of red Italian garlic.
8 rows of cilantro, 4 rows of Red Russian kale, 4 rows of Lacinato kale, 7 rows of Sugar Baby watermelon, 10 rows of Monterey strawberry's and finally 10 rows of Albion strawberry’s.
Arty, Harry, Lucy and the whole insect community began to work on the land tilling, sowing, planting, watering, fertilizing, pollinating and weeding.

The very first step to plant a seed is to dig a small hole in the ground and lay one or two seeds, then lightly water the seed and cover the hole back up with dirt. Water the soil every few days.
In no time, the garden was full of greens, yellows and whites. The garden was filled with an aurora of color the tomatoes gave off the yellows from the small flowers that hung from their thick hairy branches.

Monterey and Albion strawberry's created a line of white down the garden row path,
you could see the flowers of the strawberry's peeking out in the air trying to attract a local insect or two. A burst of greens created by almost all of the plants especially the bold robust kale's, the pointed top leaves of the garlic and the cilantro that was spread every where all around the garden.

A next morning came and the weather was very cold, it was pouring rain and snow at the same time.
Harry was up that morning sipping on a cup of hot chocolate, chocolate is very rare among insects and animals even I don’t know how harry came across such a large chunk of chocolate, in his bedroom harry had a small bed and desk and the rest of the room space he had arranged stacked pieces of chocolate all on top of each other making a three foot layer of stacked chocolate .

Harry was in his small kitchen, his kitchen was about the size of a small acorn seed. “Today feels like a soup day to me. I know, I will make grandma Pees old recipe, “Aunt Pees vegetable & chocolate soup”.

Before you know it Harry had a large bowl shaped pot made out of an acorn shell sitting on top of a small flame. Harry was whisking around his kitchen trying to find the right veggies and spices for the soup. He had already begun to boil water, steam could be seen above the large acorn pot and the aroma smelled like he had already added one or two garlic cloves into the water. It smelled very delicious. The smell was so fantastic that most o the other bugs and creatures that lived near by took notice. “knock knock knock” sounded Harry’s brittle door. “haya harry said wigly the bee” it was the bee brothers Wigly , Stigly and Livly. “Hi guys, well that's a surprise, what brings you to thee old garden patch around this time.” said harry. “Don’t you kids have bee school in the morning?” “To be honest we are wondering if we can have some of whatever you are making in here, it smells delicious! Besides we have honey to trade can we get a bowl before we go home Harry sir.“ said Stigly.

“KNock Knock” It was
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