I took it home and decided to at least wash it out a bit. I grabbed the nearby hose and just as the first few drops of water hit the bottom of the can I heard a wee voice say, "Blooming radishes! Hold on just a minute. At least help me get out of this watering can before you drown me."
You can imagine my surprise when I looked inside the can and saw a tiny garden fairy, no bigger than my thumb.
"Well, don't just stare at me", she said. "Help me up out of here." I gingerly put my hand in the can to allow the garden fairy to rest on my index finger, then I carefully raised my hand and brought her safely out and set her down gently on the ground.
"I've been waiting for you", she said.
I was speechless.
"If you don't mind, Carol, can you give me a little dribble of water from the hose? I'm parched."
I did as she asked, wondering how she knew my name.
Then she went on talking in her wee garden fairy voice. I leaned down closer to hear better.
"Since you found me and rescued me from that old watering can, I get to grant you three wishes. But I am a garden fairy so these aren't just any ol' wild three wishes where the skies the limit. There are some guidelines we must follow."
With a quick snap, she pulled a scroll of paper from her apron pocket and read the guidelines out loud to me.
"I hereby grant you three wishes for your garden. The first wish I can grant is I can send you to see any garden in the world, but please let me know in advance which season you want to see it in. The second wish I can grant is I can let you grow any plant in your garden that you wold like to grow but don't already grow. I will remind you again that I am a garden fairy so I don't have to worry about hardiness zones. Finally, for the third wish, I can remove any pest from your garden and it can be animal, vegetable or mineral, but I can only remove one. Those are the three wishes I can grant you, Carol, please choose wisely."
When she had finished reading from the scroll, she rolled it up, put it back in her apron pocket and started to tap her foot while she waited for me to answer.
One garden to visit, one plant to grow, and one pest to banish. I began thinking. Then I asked for a day to answer. The wee garden fairy said yes. We agreed to meet by the watering can in 24 hours so I could tell her my wishes.
One garden to visit. One plant to grow. One pest to banish. I'm still thinking...