"What ho! What ho!" said Mallory as he burst in through the Shed's orchard side doorway, "I say, what ho!"
"Yes, indeed you did", said Farm Girl, who was taking seeds from the large storage jars and putting them into envelopes to send to their various and far flung gardening friends. "loudly, and several times more than absolutely necessary given the time of day and the state of Mac's hangover."
"What has you wound up?"
"And who were you calling 'ho'?" said Vida, looking up from her lap top.
"No, no, dear lady you have me wrong", said Mallory, plucking an axe handle from a corner, "permit me to demonstrate. Imagine, if you will, that this axe handle is an umbrella."
He brandished it about.
"Ah imagine yew getting mighty damned wet." said an animated scarecrow who had wandered over from a haystack deep in the inner recesses of the shed.
"Ah, Agnes old dear have a listen; I value your opinion highly you know." Mallory placed a smart phone on the table, activated a key.
"You're the one", said Uncle Mac, who was studying a sports pundits' article on which players in his - the pundits' - view the Packers should go after in the upcoming NFL draft.
The unmistakable notes of "Get me to the church on time" issued from the tiny speakers of the smart phone. Mallory, who had a decent voice for a 128 year old mountain climber burst into song and, to the general astonishment of all, accompanied song with dance.
"I love a radish in the springtime!
I love a radish in the fall!
I take my car and park it,
There at the farmer's market,
And buy out every radish stall!
If there’s kohlrabi, I’ll buy a few
A tasty turnip I will not eschew,
But I love a radish when the sun’s up,
And even more when it begins to set,
But at the stroke of midnight
There’s nothing else I will bite
Cept’ for all the radish I can get.
And as for parsnips, they make me larf;
And salsify? My gosh I just might barf!
But I love a radish on my waffles,
As filling in my chocolate radish cake,
Tho’ once, while in Calcutta,
I wolfed down radish butta,
and I never will forget the belly-ache!"
The routine apparently over, Mallory turned to his audience who regarded him in stunned silence.
At length, Uncle M cleared his throat.
"Why, George?" he asked.
"Ah! Yes! Why indeed; a deucedly astute question."
Mallory was beaming.
"All righty then", said Vida, "do you have a deucedly astute answer?
"It's one of the songs we, and by 'we' I mean all of us Shed Folk plus those not present, will be performing when we treat the townsfolk to a vegetized parody version of My fair Lady during West Milford's annual 'Talent Week'."
"Mallory?" said Uncle Mac.
"Yes old chap?"
"Have you, perhaps, had a stroke?"
"Not at all! A public relations coup! Our standing in the community has been a bit tarnished ever since that distressing episode involving Leatherface and the day care center. Our participation should give it a bit of a buff up."
"And the proceeds go to widows and orphans!"
"Widows?" said Mac.
"Orphans?" Farm Girl said, barely getting the word out.
"It's the sort of thing we should do more orphan!" said Aunt Agnes.
This may, if you are not on your best behavior, be continued.