Meet Priscilla Smucker. At 16, she’s looking forward to attending the weekly youth gatherings until she runs into Susie Byler, the most unusual Amish girl who has a knack for bullying others who she feels threatens her.When Priscilla starts to gain more attention from the community over her garden, how will she deal with the bullying from Susie?
Springtime on her daed’s farm was always her favorite time of year. Crops were planted and grew. Cows gave birth to their calves. Life was born anew on the farm. But, for Priscilla, she loved gardening more than anything, including canning, haying, and caring for the newborn calves. It made her feel good to work with the earth, creating something from nothing, something that would be enjoyed by her family while experiencing a spiritual connection with God.
During this first week of June, the air was more like spring than summer. Priscilla’s brown hair was covered with a blue bandana. She wiped at her forehead, feeling the beads of perspiration, not from heat but from hard work. Yet, she didn’t mind. For the past six weeks, she had been tending to the garden, first plowing the patch of ground, then mixing in composted manure to make the soil rich and ready for the plants. Finally, she had planned the layout of the garden and planted her seeds. Tending to the garden was something she had looked forward to throughout the cold winter months.
A bird flew overhead, squawking as it dipped toward the stream behind her parents’ house. It was almost time for dinner. Most days, the family gathered at twelve-thirty to share in the midday meal. She could tell time without looking at the sun overhead that it was almost that time. When her daed whistled from the dairy barn, she knew that he was almost done with his morning chores and would soon be headed into the house for the dinner meal.
Picking up her hoe in one hand and the bucket of weeds that she had just collected in another, Priscilla headed toward the house. She’d dump the weeds later in the compost pile that the family used behind the mule barn. For now, she wanted to clean up and help her mamm with setting up the table before her daed came in from the dairy barn.