Fable by Naum Prifti/
Watching Grandma plant in the home garden was second nature to Sparky. The pug liked to keep an eye on the potato plants that bloomed into five-lobbed flowers but more than the sight of the leaves, flowers and fruit above soil, he liked the plant that grows beneath the surface. When the foliage withered, it was harvest time. The spuds were dug up from the earth and everyone helped to store them. After the work was done, they gathered around the table to celebrate. Sparky got the idea to do the planting himself. Carrying a potato, he started making his way out of the house. At the doorstep, he saw the Dappled Cat.
“Will you come with me?” asked Sparky.
“Where are you going?” inquired the Dappled Cat.
“I’m going in the garden to plant this potato. Come and help me.”
“I have no time,” responded the Cat.
“Why? What are your going to do?”
“I’m going to the rooftop to sunbathe.”
“That’s some job!” chuckled Sparky.
“Don’t come, but when I get enough potatoes to fill a big basket, you are not getting any!”
“I don’t care. And I don’t eat potatoes!” said the Cat.
“I have seen you dip in the cooking pot and gabble up potatoes!” said the pug.
The Cat walked away twirling her whiskers.
Near the patio, Sparky noticed the White-feathered Chicken.
“Do you want to come help me?” asked he.
“To plant this potato.”
“If you were going to plant a bean or a corn, I would gladly join you, but a potato? I have no use for them.”
“You’d be sorry. And don’t tell me you don’t eat potatoes. I have seen you chip at potato bread.”
“Oh! By the time the new potatoes will be ready, it will be months. I got no time to wait, “ she said.
Around the garden, the pug saw the Little Pig.
“Are you coming with me?”
“Where are you headed?” asked the Pig.
“To the garden,” answered Bubi.
“With pleasure,” said the Pig, “but to do what?”
“To help me to plant this potato. Do you know how to dig holes?” asked the pug.
“Oh course! I dig holes all the time because I like to eat roots.”
Both found a spot in the garden. The little Pig dug the hole and Sparky planted the potato. A few minutes later turned around and asked if he could eat it.
“If you eat it, then how will it grow?”
“You mean it’s not ready yet?” – he asked.
“Not so fast!” said the pug. After planting comes the sowing, the fertilizing, the watering and then the harvesting. He explained that when the potato sprouts and grows oodles of spuds, the Little Pig would get all the spuds he could eat while the Dappled Cat and the Whitefeathered Chicken who didn’t help wouldn’t get anything.
In a few weeks, a little green stem started to burst through to the surface. Sparky knew that it was time to do some work to losen up the soil. With the hoe in his paw, he headed to the garden. The Cat was stretching by the gate.
“Hi Dappled Cat! The potato I planted with the Little Pig has sprouted. Are you coming with me to hoe it?”
“I’m going for a walk to find a shade. It’s getting too hot here,” said the Cat.
Around the corner Sparky ran into the White Chicken. “She won’t come anyway, so why bother aking her?” he thought and walked past her without saying a word.
“Where are you going?” asked the Whitefeathered Chicken.
“In the garden to hoe the potato that Little Pig and I planted.”
“Well, aren’t you going to ask me to join you? Look how strong my claws are. Better than the hoe”
“I can use some help,” said Sparky.
At first the chicken loosened up the soil then together they piled it up dirt around the potato stem.
Days started to get hot. Some plants in the garden began to dry up and their leaves began to wither.
The pug took the watering can to tend to the potato plant. It was too big and heavy. Right then the Dappled Cat rubbing his fur against the pug’s feet, said:
“I was wrong not to help at first but I’m ready now to make up for it. Let me carry the watering can with you.” The water help the feeble limp leaves to revive. When the time came for the harvest, all four friends took a basket with them and went in the garden to dig up the tubers. They were amazed to see so many potatoes come out of just one, but not very surprised. After they dug up all the spuds, they divided them into four pilës, one for eache. The Little Pig said; “I like raw potatoes, too.” And he ate all the potatoes in his pile right then and there. Rubbing his belly, he said: “They’re so tasty!”
The Dappled Cat said: “I like them boiled or fried!”
The White-feathered Chicken said: “I like them baked, and even more in potato bread.”
The pug said “No matter how you eat them, they are tasty. I will eat some of them boiled, some baked, some mashed, some fried. But I will save one to plant next season and to harvest with all of you.”
Translated from Albanian by Eri Tare