Spring is fully under way in the garden at Stone Cottage. Anna is busy preparing new beds for planting. Around town, Anna is known as the Drawing Lady. She is rarely seen without her satchel which holds a notebook, pencils, pens and, lately, an iPad with a stylus. But there is little time for drawing today.
Outside the garden gate, Elphie the black dachshund is curled up, peering through the wire mesh with large soulful eyes. Anna has banned Elphie from coming into the garden because she wants to help dig, which is not helpful at all. Elphie has learned to be patient, thumping her tail when Anna finally puts her tools away and walks through the gate.
"Come here, Elphie." Anna scoops the little dachshund into her arms. Together they peer over the garden gate.
"Look, Elphie...see the peas and spinach almost ready to pick?"
Elphie wags her tail, but she is not thinking of how delicious newly picked peas and spinach might be in her dinner bowl. She spots two long furry ears through the fence on the far side of the garden, and squirms in Anna's arms.
"All right, you won't catch it, but there you go!" Anna watches Elphie race along the perimeter of the garden, only to find the rabbit and its long ears has bound away.
Anna reaches into her skirt pocket, pulling out a fuzzy toy rabbit. "Here, Elphie! Get it!" Anna throws the toy across the yard with Elphie in delightful chase. The next quarter hour is spent repeating the game of throw and fetch, until Anna turns to go inside. "Bring your toy!"
Elphie ambles up to the back door, limp rabbit in mouth and tail wagging. Inside, she drops her toy into a low wicker basket along with other toy animals.
"Now I hope you are tired enough to nap, so I can bake two pies for the barn dance." Anna slips her apron over her head and ties it behind her waist.
Anna need not worry about Elphie. The little dachshund has jumped onto the cushioned chair near the kitchen window, turning around to find the best position to lie down and close her eyes.