"...He's a sort of animal charmer and I am a boy animal."
"Then he laughed and she laughed too;
in fact it ended in their both laughing a great deal and finding
the idea of a boy animal hiding in his hole very funny indeed.
What Mary felt afterward was that she need not fear about Dickon.
On that first morning when the sky was blue again Mary wakened very early.
The sun was pouring in slanting rays through the blinds and there was something
so joyous in the sight of it that she jumped out of bed and ran to the window.
She drew up the blinds and opened the window itself and a great waft of fresh,
scented air blew in upon her.
The moor was blue and the whole world looked as if something Magic had happened to it.
There were tender little fluting sounds here and there and everywhere,
as if scores of birds were beginning to tune up for a concert.
Mary put her hand out of the window and held it in the sun.
"It's warm --- warm!" she said.
"It will make the green points push up and up and up, and it will make
the bulbs and roots work and struggle with all their might under the earth."
She kneeled down and learned out of the window as far as she could,
breathing big breaths and sniffing the air until she laughed
because she remembered what Dickon's mother had said about
the end of his nose quivering like a rabbit's.
"It must be very early," she said.
"The little clouds are all pink and I've never seen the sky look like this.
No one is up. I don't even hear the stable boys."
A sudden thought made her scramble to her feet.
"I can't wait! I am going to see the garden!"
She had learned to dress herself by this time and she put on her clothes in five minutes.
She knew a small side door which she could unbolt herself and she flew down-stairs
in her stocking feet and put on her shoes in the hall.
She unchained and unbolted and unlocked and when the door was open
she sprang across the step with one bound,
and there she was standing on the grass, which seemed to have turned green,
and with the sun pouring down on her and warm sweet wafts
about her and the fluting and twittering and singing coming from every bush and tree.
She clasped her hands for pure joy and looked up in the sky and
it was so blue and pink and pearly and white and flooded with springtime light
that she felt as if she must flute and sing aloud herself and knew that thrushes
and robins and skylarks could not possibly help it.
She ran around the shrubs and paths toward the secret garden.
Excerpt from "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Photographs by Alicia Griffiths
Hey, guess what?
The holidays are here.