'I SHALL LIVE FOR EVER AND EVER!'


At breakfast, Colin announced to his nurse, A boy and some animals are coming to see me. Bring them straight up when they arrive.'
It wasn't long before Mary heard a bleating. That's Dickon's lamb!' she cried. They're coming!'
Dickon came in smiling. He carried a lamb, and his little fox trotted beside him. Nut the squirrel sat on one shoulder and Soot the crow on the other. His other squirrel, Shell, peeped out of a pocket.

Colin stared in wonder. Dickon gently put the lamb in Colin's lap and gave him a bottle to feed it. They were all so busy and happy together.
'I'm going to see it all!' cried Colin.
Aye, that tha mun,' said Mary, 'an' tha munnot lose no time about it.'
Colin was put in his chair, and Dickon pushed it along the paths. As they went, Mary told Colin about the places they passed. 'Here's where I met Ben,' she said, 'and this is where I saw the robin. And this,' she whispered, 'this is the garden!'
Mary opened the door, and Dickon pushed the chair inside quickly. Colin looked round for a long time, seeing all the things Mary had described. Then he cried out, 'I shall get well! I shall live for ever and ever!' That afternoon, the whole world changed for Colin.

'It's been a grand day,' said Dickon.
Aye, that it has,' said Mary.
'Does tha think,' said Colin, 'that it was made like this 'ere all for me?'
'My word!' said Mary. That's a good bit of Yorkshire!' And they all joined in the laughter.
'I don't want this day to go,' said Colin, 'but I shall come back every day.'
'That tha will,' said Dickon, 'an' we shall soon have thee digging and walking.'
Suddenly Ben Weatherstaff s face glared down at them from the top of the wall. 'What are you doing in there?' he shouted at Mary. Then he saw Colin, and his mouth opened in surprise.
'Do you know who I am?' Colin asked.
'Aye, that I do,' Ben answered. 'Th'art th' poor cripple lad.'
Colin sat up angrily. 'I'm not a cripple! I'll show you!' he cried. He struggled out of the chair and with Dickon's help, stood straight and tall. 'Look at me now!' he shouted.
'God bless thee, lad!' said Ben, and tears ran down his face.

Colin remained standing. He suddenly felt his fear leave him. 'I'm not afraid any more!' he cried. 'It's the Magic of the Secret Garden! It's working to make all the plants grow, and it will work for me.'
That evening Colin was quiet. After a long time, he said to Mary, I'm not going to be a poor thing any more. If I believe I shall get strong and well, the Magic will make it happen.'


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