mail for me, Mom?" called Matthew as he opened the door.
a matter of fact," Mrs. Braden smiled, "the mailman brought
the metal detector I ordered!" Matthew shouted. "Yippee! I'm
going treasure hunting." He unwrapped his new metal detector
and carried it out into the back yard. Soon the pointer moved.
found a treasure!" he shouted. But when he dug down in the
ground, all he found was an old rusty spoon.
Matthew tried again. He found a penny, part of a broken garden
rake, a whistle, and a key. He stuffed them all into his pockets.
Say, that looked like a strong signal! He dug down eagerly.
Then his shovel hit against something solid. Matthew uncovered
it carefully. It was a rusty old metal box. He lifted it up
out of the hole. It was locked, but the hinges were so rusty
that Matthew was able to pry up the lid with the edge of the
shovel. There was a package inside, wrapped in a sort of oiled
silk. Matthew unwound the wrappings -- but all he found inside
were three seeds. Two of them looked like ordinary beans.
One was green, and the other was yellow. The third seed also
had a bean shape, but it was purple.
wonder what would grow out of a purple seed," Matthew thought.
He shoveled the dirt back into the hole. When it was nearly
full, he placed the purple seed there and covered it with
the last shovelful of dirt. Then he poured some water on it.
Immediately a purple shoot poked up out of the ground. While
Matthew watched, it got bigger and bigger. But it didn't look
like a beanstalk. It was growing into a purple tree. Soon
it was taller than Matthew. By the time the tree stopped growing,
it was even taller than Matthew's house!
There was a big hole in the trunk of the purple tree. It looked
dark inside. Matthew stuck his head in. It seemed deeper than
he thought. It looked like a tunnel. He crawled in.
It was a tunnel. Matthew could see a strange purple light
coming from the other end. He crawled toward it. The tunnel
opened out into a strange land. Everything there was purple
-- the sun, the sky, and the fields and trees. Matthew climbed
out of the tree-tunnel and walked out into the field.
In the distance Matthew could see the walls of a purple castle,
rising on the top of a hill. He set off toward the castle.
Suddenly a purple rabbit bounded past. Then three purple field
mice scurried past Matthew, squeaking. They seemed to be frightened.
Then a purple fox leaped out of a clump of bushes. The fox
seemed frightened, too.
there was a roar up ahead. A huge shape rose up out of a dip
in the field. It was a purple dragon! That was why all the
animals were running. The dragon was heading straight for
Matthew turned and ran. But the dragon was getting closer
all the time. Matthew reached into his pocket. His hand closed
around the broken piece of garden rake he had found in his
yard. He turned and threw it at the dragon.
broken rake fell short. But then the dragon stepped on it.
It stopped, howling in pain and shaking its foot. Matthew
hurried on. But he couldn't see the tree with the tunnel back
to his home. He had to do something before the dragon recovered!
Matthew reached into his pocket again. This time he came up
with one of the seeds he had found, the yellow one. There
was a puddle to the left. He dropped the yellow seed into
Immediately a yellow shoot popped out of the ground. Soon
a thick yellow bush was growing out of the puddle. There seemed
to be a dark hole in the middle of it. Matthew was just bending
over to look when he heard the dragon coming again. So he
jumped into the bush.
Splash! Splutter! Matthew kicked and thrashed. Finally he
bobbed up to the surface. He was in a yellow world now, swimming
in a yellow sea. There was no land in sight. Suddenly there
was a splashing nearby. Sharks! Three yellow sharks were swimming
toward him, grinning at him with their sharp yellow teeth.
Matthew reached into his pocket. His hand came out with the
spoon. He felt something tugging at his pocket. The last seed
was sprouting. Matthew pulled it out. As he held it, the green
shoot sent out a long branch over the water. Green leaves
formed, and then a big green pod. Matthew crawled out along
the branch to look at it.
Just then, one of the sharks swam over. It snapped at the
branch and broke it. The pod, with Matthew clinging to it,
went skimming away.
rode along on the green pod. He was safe from the sharks now,
but there was no land in sight. Suddenly there was a ripping
noise. The pod was splitting open. There was a big seed inside,
attached to a silky parachute.
The wind caught the parachute and lifted it up into the air.
Matthew jumped up and caught hold of the seed. The wind carried
him up, over the water.
On Matthew sailed, carried on the winds by the seed's silky
parachute. Then, down below, he saw land. And in a little
while he recognized the streets of his own neighborhood.
Matthew reached into his pocket again and pulled out the whistle
he had found. He put it to his mouth and blew. The winds stopped.
Down he dropped, straight into his own back yard. Then another
puff of wind carried the silky parachute away.
The purple tree was gone. Matthew was standing on the spot,
scratching his head, when his mother leaned out the back door
and called, "Dinner time!" He raced in to tell her about his
adventures. But his mother only laughed, and said, "What silly
Matthew reached into his pockets. All he had left was the
penny and the key. "Oh," exclaimed his mother. "There's the
door key I lost in the snow last winter. Perhaps your metal
detector was worth something after all."
2013 The Silversteins