In New England, spring’s arrival is sacred. Drops of winter fall from jagged icicles and make soft plips into growing puddles. Sparkles of lingering snowflakes float down from tree branches finally able to stretch. White lacy frost recedes from our windows, allowing us at last to peek out and survey the great melt from the warmth of our home. 

After coming in from the school bus to scribble times tables and cursive lettering, I hurry to my perch and watch our yard. Tracks of snow boots and deer prints soon fade to expose vibrant young buds. Yet this spring, one piece of green is somewhat off. Unlike the slender, tall stalks of grass and huddled clover colonies, there lays one muted green chunk--more mush than definite shape, though outlines of white seeds appear throughout. My father goes to clear the yard, preparing for our annual planting of tulips, oregano, and peonies. He approaches the mush cautiously, then recognizes what it is. 

Cucumber. He knows never to try to feed it to me again.