It had not rained in a long time. The grass was getting dry and brown and the leaves on the peach tree were beginning to wilt. All the plants were thirsty. Toad looked in his tool shed for a bucket. He found one but it was old and rusty, with several holes.
“This is no good.” he thought. “But I need to do something, so I will try it.”
Toad filled the bucket up at the sink and ran outside as fast as he could. Water dripped on Toad's floor. Water dripped on Toad's mat. Water dripped on Toad's pants. But water did not drip on the garden. The bucket was empty by the time Toad got to the garden.
“I will fill my bucket with dirt.” he thought. “Then the water won't leak out.”
Toad brought a shovel from the tool shed and dug up some dirt. He lined the bucket with a layer of dirt. But dirt is heavy. He could not lift the bucket.
Toad sat down on a rock in the shade of the peach tree. He thought and thought.
“I will do a rain dance.” he decided. “I will ask the rain to come down to help my thirsty plants.”
Toad danced and danced. Soon he was on the other side of the garden in a part of the meadow he had never been to. He stopped dancing and sat down to rest because he was out of breath. There was no rain. But, on the ground by his feet were some tiny strawberries growing.
“These strawberries taste good." said Toad. "I'm sure the other animals would like them too. I could sell them in town and make enough money to buy a new bucket.”
Toad went back his house. He found a large sheet and carried it to the meadow. He spread it out and filled it with strawberries. Then he tied the sheet into a bundle, started off to town.
On the way he met a lizard, a snake and two rabbits. They each bought some strawberries.
“These are very good.” said the lizard.
“Do you grow green beans?” asked the snake.
“Bring us some more tomorrow.” said the rabbits.
Now Toad had money. He bought a small water bucket and went home to water his garden. It took many trips with the small bucket.
“Tomorrow I will pick more strawberries.” he said. “Then I can buy a bigger bucket, or even a watering hose.”
Toad woke up very early the next morning and picked lots of strawberries. He sold them all and went to the garden store in town. He looked around the store and saw lots of things he liked. There were large buckets and water hoses and sprinklers. There were flower seeds and vegetable seeds and plants and trees already growing.
“If I buy a bucket,” thought Toad. “I can not buy seeds or plants or trees. But if I buy seeds and they grow well, I can sell vegetables and earn enough money to buy a water hose."
So Toad decided his small bucket would water the garden for now. He bought green bean seeds, pepper seeds, carrot seeds, spinach seeds, flower seeds and a cherry tomato plant.
All summer long Toad was very busy watering his garden with the small bucket and taking care of the plants. He brought green beans to the snake. He brought cherry tomatoes to the rabbits, and he brought spinach to the lizard. The animals were very happy with Toad's good vegetables.
By the fall,Toad had enough money for all the things we wanted from the garden store. As he put a coil of hose next to his new shiny water bucket in the shed, he saw the old rusty bucket. Toad laughed and gave it a gentle pat. Last time he'd seen the old bucket he had thought it was useless. Now he thought it very special because it had helped him discover that he loved to garden!