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مجموعه: کتاب های فوق متوسط / کتاب: باغ اسرار آمیز / فصل 4

کتاب های فوق متوسط

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Meeting Dickon

Mary spent nearly a week working in the secret garden. Each day she found new shoots coming out of the ground. Soon, there would be flowers everywhere - thousands of them. It was an exciting game to her. When she was inside those beautiful old walls, no one knew where she was.

During that week she became more friendly with Ben, who was often digging in one of the vegetable gardens.

‘What are your favourite flowers, Ben?’ she asked him one day.

‘Roses. I used to work for a young lady who loved roses, you see, and she had a lot in her garden. That was ten years ago. But she died. Very sad, it was.’ ‘What happened to the roses?’ asked Mary.

‘They were left there, in the garden.’

‘If rose branches look dry and grey, are they still alive?’ asked Mary. It was so important to know!

‘In the spring they’ll show green shoots, and then - But why are you so interested in roses?’ he asked.

Mary’s face went red. ‘I just. . . wanted to pretend I’ve got a garden. I haven’t got anyone to play with.’ ‘Well, that’s true,’ said Ben. He seemed to feel sorry for her. Mary decided she liked old Ben, although he was sometimes bad-tempered.

She skipped along and into the wood at the end of the

gardens. Suddenly she heard a strange noise, and there in front of her was a boy. He was sitting under a tree, playing on a wooden pipe. He was about twelve, with a healthy red face and bright blue eyes. There was a squirrel and a crow in the tree, and two rabbits sitting on the grass near him.

The Secret Garden

‘They’re listening to the music’’ thought Mary. ‘I mustn’t frighten them!’ She stood very still.

The boy stopped playing. ‘That’s right,’ he said. ‘Animals don’t like it if you move suddenly. I’m Dickon and you must be Miss Mary. I’ve brought you the spade and the seeds.’ He spoke in an easy, friendly way. Mary liked him at once. As they were looking at the seed packets together, the robin hopped on to a branch near them. Dickon listened carefully to the robin’s song.

‘He’s saying he’s your friend,’ he told Mary.

‘Really? Oh, I am pleased he likes me. Can you understand everything that birds say?’ ‘I think I do, and they think I do. I’ve lived on the moor with them for so long. Sometimes I think I am a bird or an animal, not a boy at all!’ His smile was the widest she had ever seen.

He explained how to plant the seeds. Suddenly he said, ‘I can help you plant them! Where’s your garden?’ Mary went red, then white. She had never thought of this. What was she going to say?

‘Could you keep a secret? It’s a great secret. If anyone discovers it, I’ll… I’ll die!’ ‘I keep secrets for all the wild birds and animals on the moor. So I can keep yours too,’ he replied.

‘I’ve stolen a garden,’ she said very fast. ‘Nobody goes into it, nobody wants it. I love it and nobody takes care of it! They’re letting it die!’ And she threw her arms over her face and started crying.

‘Don’t cry,’ said Dickon gently. ‘Where is it?’

‘Come with me and I’ll show you,’ said Miss Mary. They went to the secret garden and entered it together.

Dickon walked round, looking at everything.

‘Martha told me about this place, but I never thought I’d

see it,’ he said. ‘It’s wonderful!’

‘What about the roses?’ asked Mary worriedly. ‘Are

they still alive? What do you think?’

‘Look at these shoots on the branches. Most of them are

alive all right.’ He took out his knife and cut away some of the dead wood from the rose trees. Mary showed him the work she had done in the garden, and they talked as they cut and cleared.

‘Dickon,’ said Mary suddenly, ‘I like you. I never thought I’d like as many as five people!’

‘Only five!’ laughed Dickon.

He did look funny when he laughed, thought Mary. ‘Yes, your mother, Martha, the robin, Ben, and you.’ Then she asked him a question in Yorkshire dialect, because that was his language.

‘Does tha’ like me?’ was her question.

‘Of course! I likes thee wonderful!’ replied Dickon, a big

smile on his round face. Mary had never been so happy. When she went back to the house for her lunch, she told Martha about Dickon’s visit.

‘I’ve got news for you too,’ said Martha. ‘Mr Craven’s

come home, and wants to see you! He’s going away again tomorrow, for several months.’

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