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The Garden of Eden.    By Don Urbanus

     I installed a sign after a suggestion by an employee. It was an offhand comment, but looking at the sign now, it seemed very appropriate. I smiled as I looked at my handiwork. As I was walking back to the office, a bright young couple approached me. She had long light brown hair and he was an average sized good-looking fellow.
     “Can you help us?” she asked, “I understand that you’re the owner of Rising Sun Nursery and we have a lot of questions about fruit trees and such.”
     “Eve, he’s probably busy. I am sure we can figure this out on our own.”
     “Really, Adam, he’s the expert. Why not get his opinion?”
     “That’s O.K.”, I said, “I can help you. What exactly are you looking for?”
     “Well…,” he began, but Eve interrupted him.
     “We want every kind of fruit,” she said enthusiastically, “I am especially fond of apples.”
     “Apples?” he complained, “We already have an apple tree in our garden and we never get any fruit off that thing. I want peaches and apricots and stuff like that.”
     “Adam,” she said patiently, like talking to a child, while nervously fingering her necklace, “I happen to like apples the best. You should try apples some time. They’re better than any other fruit as far as I’m concerned. You can eat them fresh or make pies and applesauce out of them. All kinds of things.”
     “I don’t like apples,” he said stubbornly.
     “We have quite a variety of apples. There are sweet ones and tart ones for cooking, and everything in between.” I noticed her necklace was an unusual design of a snake. “Interesting necklace,” I noted.
     “Do you like it? I love it. I wear it everywhere. I just love snakes for some reason.” She gazed admiringly at her necklace.
     “I hate snakes. Anyway, why do we always have to start talking about snakes,” Adam complained. “I thought we were here to get some fruit trees.”
     “How come we don’t get any apples on the tree we have?” she asked abruptly.
      “Well, there could be lots of reasons. Sometimes it’s the weather or perhaps they are not getting pollinated. If you have only one apple tree, you might need a pollenizer.”
     “A pollenizer? What’s that?” she asked, intensely interested.
     “Who cares?” Adam sighed. He began wandering away, looking at the name tags on the rows of fruit trees.
     “Some apple trees need another apple tree to pollenize them because they are self sterile. Do you know what kind of apple you have?” I asked.
     “No,” she said, frowning, “but it’s very old. It was there long before we bought our place.”
“Well you might get a couple of apple trees then. That way they will be sure to pollenize each other and the old apple tree too.”
     She smiled radiantly. “That’s a wonderful idea! Maybe we can finally get some apples on that old tree. You’ll see dear,” she called over to Adam, “when you get a taste of a really good apple, it will probably change your life.” She smiled and winked at me. “I will get him to eat an apple. You’ll see.”
     “I like things just the way they are,” he grumbled back at us.
     “By the way,” she said, fingering her necklace again, “Love your sign. ‘The Garden of Eden.’ Very clever.”
     “Thanks,” I said, “If you need any more help, let me know.”
     “Oh,” she said, “I think I can handle things here.” She walked away gracefully, her long hair swaying with each step.



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