A sweet little girl makes sweet peach pies to lure in love and gets a sweet surprise.
Eleven-year-old Stacey Peach Sweet Pea Spinach likes to pick peaches, adores sweet peas and spinach salad, and even has hair the color of peaches—all because her mom ate those things before Stacey was born, because Stacey Peach’s dad had deserted them. Stacey Peach makes sweet peach pies and leaves them on the front porch at night in hopes her father will return, but all she finds in the mornings are the empty pie plate and a dirty fork, so she decides to hide out and find out who’s eating the pies. Turns out it’s a young neighbor boy who likes her but was too shy to approach. When Stacey Peach cries about her dad, the boy comforts her and suggests she could share his father and he could share her mother since his has died. Stacey Peach thinks her new boyfriend might be the next-best-thing to having her dad back.
Eleven-year-old Stacey Peach Sweet Pea Spinach likes to pick peaches in the Sunshine Garden in her backyard on rainy days amidst the sweet peas. When Mrs. Spinach was pregnant with Stacey Peach, she overindulged in peaches, sweet peas, and spinach salads because Stacey’s dad had skipped town. Stacey was born with peachy orange hair, smelling like sweet peas, and craving leafy spinach. Stacey Peach plucks ripe peaches from the trees, thinking if she makes a peach pie with extra love her father will finally come home. Despite her mother’s doubts, she leaves a pie on the front doorstep overnight for her father.
When Stacey Peach opens the door at the crack of dawn, an empty pie plate sits on the porch. Stacey Peach is convinced her dad must have eaten the pie, but no one makes an appearance, despite her pleas. For the next seven nights, she leaves the fresh peach pies on the doorstep, and by morning, all that is left is the empty pie plate and dirty fork. Mrs. Spinach fears that a burglar might be lurking about and tells Stacey Peach that she can only leave one more pie over night for her father. Then, she must move on.
Stacey Peach decides to hide in the bushes until she speaks with the pie thief. Finally, young neighbor Gerald the Plum Gershwin sneaks onto the front porch in his pajamas. He admits he’s been eating Stacey Peach’s pies. He’s always wanted to be friends with her but was too shy. He thinks she is especially pretty, and that peaches and plums have to stick together. Despite his kindness, Stacey Peach is angry and says he ruined her whole plan to bring her father home. Stacey Peach cries her eyes out. Gerald comforts her and suggests that she can share his father and he could share Stacey’s mom because his mom has died. Stacey Peach decides that the-next-best-thing to a dad is a boyfriend, even if her mom thinks she is too young for romantic love. Stacey Peach kisses Gerald the Plum on the cheek, and they eat peach pie together and talk as the sun rises. The peach jam is even sweeter as Stacey Peach eats it straight from the jar and shares it with Gerald, her unlikely hero.
Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters