The Garden of Diminishing Returns
There were cantaloupes, squash, tomatoes galore,
Green beans, watermelons, green peppers and more,
Growing fast, trying to crawl out of sight,
I swear I could hear the garden growing at night,
But in the mornings when I checked the plants,
The vegetables were half eaten and covered with ants,
No matter what I tried or wherever I turned,
The results were the same—-diminishing returns!
I sat out in my chair with my dog on the lawn,
Hoping to see some critters, I’d wait until dawn,
Ground squirrels were scurrying, rabbits came dancing,
Cicadas were chirping, deer were prancing,
Everywhere I looked there was some kind of motion,
The garden was alive with activity and commotion,
Chomping new flowers and munching new shoots,
The animals were all dressed in their evening suits,
There was a call to order and they all sat down,
The biggest rabbit was worried, I could tell by his frown,
“We’ve got to control the rabbits at school,
There’s been multiplication against the rule,
Not everyone stays seated until a lesson is through,
This is outrageous! What shall we do?
Deer have been entering and then going out,
I’m not sure what’s that all about,
And the squirrels have been going nuts,
So there you have it, no ifs, ands, or buts,
We’ll have to move on and find new grounds,
This garden will be tagged as “out of bounds”,
But if we destroy too much we’ll soon learn,
One small garden yields diminishing returns,”
They thumped out a vote and gave him a hand,
It was clear they agreed with his conservative stand,
The majority was liberal enough to see,
If they harvested carefully enough there’d be,
If each did his share, working part of each day,
There would also be time to sleep and play,
He explained if they wanted, they could help him with stuff,
So they planted, watered, and did more than enough.
He told them that they still had lots to learn,
Because no one wins with diminishing returns.
That old rabbit spoke with authority before he disappeared underground,
I’m glad I stayed alert and wrote it all down.
That garden was a life source to all, including me,
It brought a new way of thinking for us to get along,
And I really like those critters, don’t get me wrong.
But if someone thinks I’m feeding that complete herd,
That’s way out of line, kind of crazy, absurd!
Okay, just a nibble. I grew tons of stuff.
If all of you are careful there’s more than enough!
The sprinklers went off and woke me from a dream,
I can’t quite remember what made me want to scream.
But now I have a peaceful feeling way deep inside,
And when I look at my garden I have a sense of pride.
Every row is trimmed, organized, and neat,
But I could almost swear I see some little feet.
My garden is growing right up to the sky,
And on my doorstep this morning was a strawberry pie.
I always thought gardening would be hard to learn,
I knew there was a problem with diminishing returns.