|The Secret Garden 2/3 (LittleFoxKids)|
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An adaptation of the classic children's novel by English author Frances Hodgson Burnett, this series stars a spoiled and sour girl named Mary. When Mary finds a deserted garden, she becomes determined to bring it back to life. As the garden blooms, will Mary bloom too?
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Mary did not miss her mother at all. After all she had not really known her mother. So now, after the death of her parents, she thought only of herself. She hoped she was going to live with nice people who would let her do whatever she wanted. At first she was taken to the home of the local English minister. He had five children who were always quarreling and snatching toys from each other. Mary hated staying at their crowded, messy house. She was so disagreeable to the children that, after the first day or two, nobody would play with her. One day Mary was playing by herself under a tree. She was pretending to make a garden, just as she had been doing the day cholera broke out. One of the little boys, Basil, stood nearby watching her. "You are going to be sent home at the end of the week," Basil said to her. "And we're all glad about it." "I'm glad too," answered Mary. "Where is home?" "You don't know where home is?" Basil said scornfully. "It's England of course. You are going to live with your uncle, Mr. Archibald Craven." Mary frowned. "I don't know anything about him." "Of course you don't. You don't know anything," said Basil. "But I heard Father and Mother talking about him. He lives in a big, old house called Misselthwaite Manor. No one goes near him. He's a hunchback and he's horrid." "I don't believe you." Mary turned her back and stuck her fingers in her ears because she didn't want to hear any more. But she thought it over a great deal afterward. What sort of place was she going to? What would her uncle be like? What was a hunchback anyway? What did one look like? Mary made the long voyage to England under the care of an officer's wife who was taking her children to boarding school. The officer's wife was too busy with her own little boy and girl to pay much attention to Mary. In London the officer's wife handed Mary over to Mrs. Medlock, the woman who was the housekeeper at Misselthwaite Manor. "My word! She's a plain little thing!" exclaimed Mrs. Medlock. "And we'd heard her mother was a beauty." "Perhaps she will improve as she grows older," said the officer's wife. The two women thought that Mary could not hear them because she was standing a little apart from them, but she heard every word. She thought Mrs. Medlock was the most disagreeable-looking woman she had ever seen. The next day they had to catch the train to Yorkshire. When they walked through the station, Mary tried to keep as far away from her as possible. She did not want anyone to think that she was Mrs. Medlock's daughter. Once they were settled on the train, Mrs. Medlock said, "Do you know anything about your uncle?" "No," Mary replied. "Well," said Mrs. Medlock. "I suppose you should be told something to prepare yourself. You are going to a strange place." Mary said nothing. She didn't care what this awful woman had to say about her uncle's house. "The house is six hundred years old," said Mrs. Medlock. "It's on the edge of the moor, and there are nearly a hundred rooms, though most of them are closed up and locked." Mary began to listen. It sounded so different from India, and anything new interested her. But she did not want to look interested. "Mr. Craven has a crooked back," Mrs. Medlock went on. "He was a sour young man, and did nothing good with his money and his big house until he married." Now Mary was really interested. She'd never thought of a hunchback as married. "His wife was a sweet, pretty thing, and he would have done anything for her. People said she married him for his money, but she didn't. And when she died . . ." "She died?" Mary exclaimed. She remembered a fairy tale about a poor hunchback and a beautiful princess. Suddenly she felt sorry for Mr. Craven. "Yes, she died," said Mrs. Medlock. "And that made him even stranger. He cares about nobody. He won't see people. "Most of the time he travels, but when he's at Misselthwaite Manor, he shuts himself up in the west wing. He won't let anybody near him but his old servant, Pitcher." Mrs. Medlock was right. Mary was going to a strange place indeed.