I’ve stolen a garden

I don’t know anything about boys, she said slowly. “Could you keep a secret, if I told you one? It’s a great secret. I don’t know what I should do if any one found it out. I believe I should die!” She said the last sentence quite fiercely.

Dickon looked more puzzled than ever and even rubbed his hand over his rough head again, but he answered quite good-humoredly. “I’m keepin’ secrets all the time,” he said. “If I couldn’t keep secrets from the other lads, secrets about foxes’ cubs, and bird's nests, and  wild things holes, there’d be naught safe on the moor. Aye, I can keep secrets.”

Mistress Mary did not mean to put out her hand and clutch his sleeve but she did it. “I’ve stolen a garden,” she said very fast. “It isn’t mine. It isn’t anybody’s. Nobody wants it, nobody cares for it, nobody ever goes into it. Perhaps everything is dead in it already; I don’t know.” She began to feel hot and as contrary as she had ever felt in her life. “I don’t care, I don’t care! Nobody has any right to take it from me when I care about it and they don’t. They’re letting it die, all shut in by itself,” she ended passionately, and she threw her arms over her face and burst out crying—poor little Mistress Mary.

Dickon’s curious blue eyes grew rounder and rounder.“Eh-h-h!” he said, drawing his exclamation out slowly, and the way he did it meant both wonder and sympathy.

“I’ve nothing to do,” said Mary. “Nothing belongs to me. I found it myself and I got into it myself I was only just like the robin, and they wouldn’t take it from the robin.”


The secret garden / Frances Hodgson Burnett

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