Miss Olivia Ladgrise confers with a close acquaintance, the Madam Jessica Souperkoup, concerning the subject of a favorite employee and his esteemed qualities in the garden and kitchen:
“I love how he manhandles my watermelons and delicately plucks my strawberries. The cherries he drops into my hand, so succulent! Cucumbers, corn, carrots, celery, and eggplants! Many small mushrooms of all kinds and some quite large ones with a sweet flavor and a salty tang.”
“Oh my, Olivia, you’re getting me all flushed!”
“Can you be blamed?! Tomatoes, pressed together until they explode pulp to be simmered. He strokes the basil with tenderness as he brings it close to savor the scent. What magic he does with my oregano, you would like to know! But it’s our secret. Oh, Jessica. He clutches at my pomegranates with a thirst in his eyes. My avocados soften in the heat forged by his skilled hands.
“Rhubarb! Oh, his rhubarb pie makes me melt with candied delight. Then I had to slap him with a restraining order and discharge him!”