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Harriet's World

By HARRIET BISHOP

I have this little boy on our block, his name is Taylor. He's been coming to my house now every Christmas since he was big enough to carry a hot loaf of homemade bread, baked by his mother and wrapped in a paper towel.

Maybe five years ago or so, Taylor comes to my house three days before Christmas with his hot bread and a Merry Christmas card attached. I had talked to his mom and I look forward every Christmas to that loaf of bread.

Well, this summer Taylor has been coming over to my home more often. He almost always has his little sister in tow and in his hand he always has two tomatoes from their garden and a very small zucchini because he heard that I liked small zucchinis. Sometimes the tomatos are pretty good size and sometimes they are quite small.

Now this young man is about 9 or 10 years old and he doesn't say much when he comes but he beams all over when I make a fuss about his vegetables. I make that fuss because it is genuine. So all summer long, every time I was secretly hankering for a tomato, here would come Taylor with his offering, out of the blue, to make me wonder how he ever knew I was thinking that I wished I had one.

Late in September he came over one evening and he said that this was going to be the last of the garden. Of course I thanked him and offered him the usual treat from my treat container, which sometimes he simply turns down, I thanked him and he was off.

I thought I had had my last visit until last night. Here came Taylor again. This time he had two of the most beautiful tomatoes I have every seen. Perfect in every sense of the word, firm, ripe, medium sized tomatoes.

Taylor said, "Sister Bishop this is absolutely the last of the last." Of course I squealed and carried on and Taylor was just a beaming. His chest just a popping out.

I was fixing dinner and I told him I would have one with my dinner and he played with Sasha a minute or two and left.

When I went to slice one of the tomatoes, I was looking at it and the thought struck me that it might well be mushy or mealy because it was the end of the garden and had been sitting out for a long time. You know how tomatoes can be.

I like the skin peeled off my tomatoes but I was in too big of a hurry to go through the procedure. Besides I just didn't think it was going to be that great when I cut into it.

Now, at the last possible second, I decided to peel it and skip the scalding procedure and you know what, that skin peeled off that tomato as smooth as a baby's bottom and when I took a small taste the texture was perfect and the taste was heavenly. That tomato was absolutely the most perfect tomato I had eaten all summer long.

That's when it hit me. How could I have thought any different. How could I have doubted. After all, it was from Taylor and the "last of the last."

Thanks Taylor for thinking of me and making me feel so special.

Well, that is my world. Until next time remember: "And a little child shall lead them."





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