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There Is A Monster In The Shed Grandad
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Suzy loved visiting her Grandparents, not just because they spoilt her but she and her Grandad had a special bond.
He was always so patient with her and she loved nothing better than to help him in the garden. Sometimes if the weather was cold or raining they would spend many happy hours in his big garden shed potting plants or growing new ones from seeds.
Her Grandad usually had a big mug of tea by his side as he said, "it warmed the cockles of his heart." Suzy didn't know people had cockles in their heart, but if it made her Grandad happy then she was happy too.
She was really happy today because her Mum and Dad had just dropped her off at her Grandparents for the weekend while they went to visit some old friends of theirs. Suzy found it boring sitting around while grownups were just talking and had asked if she could stay with her Grandparents.
Although it was too late to do any jobs in the garden that evening, Suzy still liked to walk to the end of the garden where her Grandad had his shed. Her Grandmother said he put it as far away from the house as he could so she couldn't nag him. Her Grandad had looked at Suzy and winked.
Suzy was just bending down to smell some of the roses when she heard a noise coming from the shed. She knew it couldn't be her Grandad as he was still in the house.
As she crept nearer to the shed she heard, CRUNCH, CRUNCH, CRUNCH.
Suzy stood listening. There it was again, CRUNCH, CRUNCH, CRUNCH.
Suzy ran back to the house as fast as her little legs would carry her.
She burst through the kitchen door and ran to her Grandad.
"Grandad, Grandad there's a Monster in your shed."
Her Grandmother said it was just because it was getting dark and it was only a shadow.
"But I didn't see anything", Suzy said breathlessly, "I just heard it."
Both her Grandparents were smiling at her until she described the sound, CRUNCH, CRUNCH, CRUNCH. All of a sudden her Grandad's smile faded and he looked at her Grandmother with a suspicious look.
"Mary you haven't have you?" he asked her Grandmother.
"Only a little dear," her Grandmother replied. "Just one pot at the end of the shed."
"What are you talking about?" Suzy asked.
"Woman, will you never learn," her Grandad said angrily.
Suzy had never seen her Grandad angry before and it scared her.
Realising Suzy was becoming worried they both decided to leave it until she had gone to bed. Suzy kept on asking about what was in the shed, but they insisted there was nothing for her to worry about.
As she lay in bed that night she heard them talking and decided to sneak to the top of the stairs and listen. She knew she shouldn't, but she just had to know what was making the noise in the shed.
She could hear them quite clearly and her Grandad say. "You know how hard it was to get rid of him last time, why would you grow more?"
"Because it's the only flavour that tastes right for my pickled cucumbers," her Grandmother replied irritably.
Suzy was at a loss.
What on earth did pickled cucumbers have to do with the monster in the shed?
They were now talking in low voices and Suzy had to lean forward to hear them. The step from the top let out a loud squeak and the talking stopped.
"Is that you Suzy?" her Grandmother called.
Suzy had no option but to answer.
"You had better come down girl," her Grandad said.
Suzy sheepishly entered the sitting room, but she must have looked scared because her Grandmother said, "It's alright Pet, come and sit next to me."
"I only wanted to know about the monster in the shed," Suzy said in a hopeful voice.
Her Grandad gave a big sigh, which was what he always did when he was about to give in.
Suzy knew the sign and gave him her best smile.
"Well now, he, or it, isn't exactly a monster, at least I don't think so," her Grandad explained, scratching his head. "To be honest, we have never seen him. If you open the door quickly to try and catch him out, there is no one there.
We have only ever heard his CRUNCH, CRUNCH, CRUNCH."
"But what is he crunching?" Suzy asked.
"DILL." they both answered at the same time.
Her Grandmother could see there were more questions to come, so she just told Suzy to be patient and she would explain.
"Dill is a herb I use in my pickled cucumbers and no matter what anyone says, (giving her Husband a defiant glare), they just don't have the right flavour without it. I used to grow it outside, but it didn't do too well. Probably because of the delicate flowers, so I started growing it in your Grandad's shed.
Every time I went to pick some Dill there were only stalks left and I thought it was being eaten by snails or bugs.
It was early one evening, when I went to pick some Dill for a casserole, that I first heard the CRUNCH, CRUNCH, CRUNCH. Like you Pet, I ran back to the house and your Grandad dashed down to catch what ever it was. As soon as you open the shed, the noise stops and you never see it, but sure enough the dill has been eaten."
"Does he eat anything else?" Suzy asked.
"No," her Grandad replied, "that's why we call him the Dill Monster. It took months before we managed to get rid of him last time, but he finally got the message that we stopped growing dill."
"He cries you know," her Grandmother said sadly.
"Don't be silly woman," her Grandad said gruffly. "It's probably next door's cat wailing."
"Then how come he doesn't wail since I put the pot of Dill in there then?" her Grandmother said defiantly.
"Oh the poor thing," Suzy said, giving her Grandad a hurtful look.
"Now don't you two give me that hurt look, I am not going to grow Dill just for a monster to eat and that's final," her Grandad said firmly.
Suzy went back to bed thinking about the poor monster crying because he would soon have no food.
The next morning her Grandad refused to talk about the Dill monster and Suzy checked the pot of Dill and saw that it had all gone. Suzy and her Grandmother spent most of the day giving her Grandad reproachful looks.
That evening she, as well as her Grandmother, heard the monster crying but her Grandad insisted it was a cat.
The next day was her last day with her Grandparents, but before she could even finish her breakfast she was instructed to grab her coat as they were going for a drive.
They drove out to a big garden centre and her Grandad headed straight for the herb section. Suzy and her Grandmother looked at each other and grinned.
"Well, I can't stand another day of you two glaring at me," her Grandad said sheepishly. "Choose some nice thick ones because that monster has a big appetite."
They arrived home laden down with several pots of Dill.
Suzy's parents came to collect her at tea time, but before she left she just had to make one last trip down to the garden shed. She tip-toed quietly to the shed door and heard what she was hoping for.
CRUNCH, CRUNCH, CRUNCH.
A short story by Sheila Helliwell
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