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A Dog, A Grump & A Garden

A Dog, A Grump & A Garden

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A Dog, A Grump & A Garden

122 Seiten
1 Stunde
Nov 22, 2015


"Let me tell you how this is gonna play out. I told you before, if I wanted company, I'd invite some. Now get your sorry behinds off my land." You'd think that would do it, wouldn't you? So did I, but those blasted hooligans just wouldn't listen. Neither would that yip-happy dog. I moved to the small town of Integrity to get some peace and quiet. Thanks to those same hooligans, I ended up with some peace of mind. But this is more their story than mine... puny vegetables and all.

Nov 22, 2015

Über den Autor

I see the world through the eyes of the children who are in my life.They give me the humorous slant, the freshness, wonder and silliness that are all so precious. For many years creative fodder has been riding around in the back files of my brain waiting for the opportunity to become a story or a poem; waiting for the chance to entertain others with the joys I've experienced. In my childcare experience, I have cared for over fifty children. Oh, if you could see my memory files! I've also worked as a nanny for twins, a preschool teacher for the infants and twos, Cub and Girl Scout leader, VBS teacher at church and been the house on the block where the other children gathered to played. It was so quickly that my own four children grew up and left to make their own way. If there is a part of my life I could live over, it would be the years my children needed me to make their world right and just and happy. I miss that. My children have blessed me with eleven grandchildren and even more fodder files. While raising my children, I also attended the local community college and earned an Associates of Art degree in English. Took over a million years, but when I opened the folder my certificate came in, a flood of emotions jumped out at me. All the struggles to accomplish graduating, of getting my work in on time even if the children need last minute cupcakes for school, or their special jeans washed after bedtime, or even threw up all night. Going to college was not easy, but rewarding when I read my name on the diploma. Later, I continued my schooling by studying Early Childhood Education. As a point of humor, some of my instructors had no children of their own. In later years, I met up with one of them later, after she had raised her own little ones. She hugged me and said, "I knew nothing, I'm sorry. Those little critters never read the books." So now here I am in my retirement part of life, still finding children delightful and amusing. Once a week I am the story lady at a local toy store. What a delightful way to start my Thursday morning!


A Dog, A Grump & A Garden - Robin Rush


By Robin Rush

Two Square Books Publishing

Placerville, USA

All characters, locations and events presented in this novel are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to real events or people, whether living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

No part of this book may be used, stored, or reproduced in part or in whole, by any means whatsoever, electronic or mechanical, for any purpose without written permission from the author. The author thanks you for respecting her rights.


Copyright 2015 by Robin Rush

All rights reserved.

Published by Two Square Books Publishing

Placerville, USA


ISBN 9781310863592

Print books by Robin Rush available at, Placerville News Co., & Brainy Zoo Toys

Ebook Version Distributed by Smashwords

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

Thank you for downloading this book. This book remains the copyrighted property of the author, and may not be redistributed to others for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage others to download their own copy from their favorite authorized retailer.


To Natalie, my daughter and pawtner, who loves to plant ideas, grow thoughts and-- through her magic keyboard-- harvest a book.


The white police car was doing its afternoon patrol. The emblem on the door, showing the newly designed ‘Integrity: a great place to grow’, shined in the sunlight. Officer training always included this rite of passage, given by the police chief himself, for each new employee on the Integrity force.

Walt’s hardware has been on this acreage for several generations. He lives in the back. Folks use the grounds as a second park. Says he’s thinking about hiring more help. The chief pointed to the other side of the road. Across the street is Integrity’s only grocery store. Sara Johnson is head cashier and daughter of the owners. He nodded his head toward the front doors and added, Wanna know what’s going on in town, just stroll down the aisles. You’ll find out who’s getting married, who’s new in town, and who’s cooking what for the next social event.

The trainee officer asked, You get much crime around here?

Well, that depends on your point of view. The chief drawled, smiling. Recently, we’ve had several complaints about a dog running around digging holes and generally being a nuisance. Also, some wanna-be bad guys are makin’ trouble over to the Magnus place. More seriously the chief added, There’s a domestic issue once in a while. Oh, and we do have a sixteen year old male in town who comes to visit his six year-old sister. We’ve not had any trouble with him, but the city sent us his file. Hunter Mason.

Foster kids?

Yeah. How’d you know?

Used to be a probation officer. A lot of that going around. Usually some pretty neat kids who had a bad start.

The chief pulled his SUV up in front of the newly renovated library and lowered his window.

Hey, Rachel! You don’t have any overdue fines today, do you? He tipped his hat and waved.

Soon to finish her first year of high school, the lanky Rachel held up a small stack of books. Not today, chief.

Rachel and her mom have lived here for a long time. In fact, she was one of the first babies born in the new hospital.

Right then a collection of boy noise flew past the patrol car.

Am I seeing double? asked the new officer.

That’s the ten year-old Donegal twins, Ethan and Liam. Always on the go with those wheelie shoes. Moved in about five years ago. They live right behind Rachel.

Driving out of the library parking lot, the chief turned right, then cruised down the old brick road a few blocks.

One of Integrity’s historical churches, he said, pointing to a tall steeple. It’s been standing right there for almost one hundred years.

Look at the grounds! Everything is so clean and trimmed. My wife would like all those white roses.

Let me see… that was about ten years ago when Pastor Paul married the Murpheys in the church. They asked all the wedding guests to bring a white rose plant for the campus grounds. Walt had to special order twice just to keep up with the orders.

Sounds nice here, chief. I’m glad to join the community.

The people of Integrity aren’t perfect but, overall, we do try to get along.

Makes our job easier, said the new officer.

At the next corner, they turned right and followed a road lined with mature trees until they came to a four-way stop.

Park’s been around long enough to go from wooden toys, to metal, to plastic. The flowers are maintained by our local garden club. A lot of plants have taken root in Integrity. Same for our residents. Last item on the tour is the old Magnus house. Town rumor says it’s haunted.

Ya gotta love town gossip.

As they headed back to the station, the chief asked, Ever get one of those feelings that life is about to take an interesting turn?

Chapter 1

The Haunted House

Isn’t that the house where the old man died?

What house? All I see is bushes and trees.

Look way back there. Rachel pointed as she spoke. See the door? It’s faded blue.

Hunter stooped to see through the branches. A front door, but no porch, no sidewalk and no way to get in. That’s weird. I guess they don’t want company.

The two friends walked quietly, trying to get a better view of the old place.

Some kids at school say it’s haunted. Lights come on and go off, but no one ever comes out of there. They heard moaning one night and said it was so scary they ran all the way to the church steps before stopping.

I don’t believe in haunted houses, Hunter stated flatly.

Well, I do. When a house sits empty for a long time, I think the past owners are still there in some way. Rachel thought for a moment. Like memories of the unhappy times. Maybe the sad stuff that happened in the house is still there.

Sad stuff does not turn lights on and off, pointed out Hunter.

Well, do you have a better explanation?

Someone lives there?

Rachel looked at the dilapidated house again. And they got inside how?

Maybe there’s a back door or a garage. Hunter walked toward the gravel driveway and kicked at the tall grass. No one’s driven on this for a long time.

Oh, my gosh. Look at that.

At the end of the driveway was a tremendous, green, overgrown bush that would never allow a car to pass.

So much for a garage.

Ya’ willing to find out if your ghosts have a back door? He motioned

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