Grandfathers and 3-year-old boys are natural buddies. On this particular day in May, the grandfather was pleased to have the company of his best little pal when planting the vegetable garden. For a while, the boy seemed to like it too. His small fingers were just the right size to pick up tiny seeds and drop them into Granddad-made holes. They were a great team.
But before long the boy became restless and directed his irritation at the seeds themselves.
"What's this one, Granddad?"
"Ugh, I hate beets."
"Well, then, let's do the zucchini instead."
"Yuck. I really hate zucchini."
"Okay, buddy. What would you like to plant?"
"How about . . . doughnuts?"
Just in time, the grandfather stopped himself from saying there was no such thing as a doughnut seed. Looking at the unhappy little face, he suddenly got an inspiration.
"Wait a sec. I have to go inside and get the right seeds."
Granddad returned with a handful of Cheerios. He and the small boy solemnly planted them in a special corner of the vegetable garden.
Weeks later, when the real seeds began to break through the soil, the boy became entranced with the tiny seedlings. He spent many afternoons helping Granddad water and hoe and watch them grow. And when the first baby vegetables were harvested, he liked them after all.
For weeks, he forgot all about the doughnuts. But then one day at lunch, he said, "Grandad, what happened to our doughnuts? How come they didn't grow."
Grandad paused a moment. "Well, you know, doughnuts are tricky. Some years when you plant them, you get lots of doughnuts." He sighed sadly. "But other years, all that comes up are the holes."