"This time, I'll tell you how I earned money when I was just a
little girl. My bicycle came in handy again. Some time ago, I told you
about riding it to the movies. I also used it to make the rounds of my
many customers. I had four different things for them to buy. This may
sound strange to you, but I was selling rhubarb, honey, butter, and
"Oh, come on Grandma. That doesn't sound
"I'm telling you the truth, but I can understand
why you need some explanation. So, here goes, one item at a time.
We planted a very big garden just filled with
vegetables. There were radishes, carrots, potatoes, beets, and sweet
potatoes. Those all grew underground. Then we had green beans growing on
poles and green peas. I remember my mother really liked peas, but they had
to be freshly picked. So, she would have the rest of the supper almost
finished. Then she would run out to the garden, pick the peas, quickly
shell them, cook them in a little water, and then call us to supper. Now
that's what I call fresh!"
"That's a funny story, Grandma. But what's that
got to do with rhubarb? You did get the rhubarb from your garden, didn't
"Whoops, sorry. I did wander off the subject. At
least we are in the right part of the yard. Right down the center of the
garden was a row of rhubarb plants. Most people in town planted gardens,
but no one seemed to have rhubarb. I would pull out lots of stalks, cut
the big leaf off the tops, and tie them in bundles. No matter how many I
started out with, it seemed that I would run out of rhubarb before I ran
out of customers! Some would add strawberries to the rhubarb when they
made their pie. We usually saved our berries for shortcake.
We didn't have a very big strawberry patch, but we
sure had plenty of rhubarb! Sometimes people would just stop by and want
some rhubarb. They could see the big plants from the road. Maybe like my
Mom and her fresh peas, they wanted their rhubarb really
It would only take me a few minutes to get them a big
bunch, but I always cut off the big leaf before I collected their money.
Rhubarb was very good for you, but the leaf was poisonous. You had to know
those things when you worked on a farm.
If you think this was a long story to tell you about
rhubarb, I should warn you that my story about "Honey" would be
even longer. So let's wait until another day when we aren't so tired. You
say you're not tired? Well, Grandma is!"