John loved gardening, even as a child. He was always planting something here, something there, and something everywhere. John was only nine years old, but he was skilled at handling the shovel, hoe, and a soil tiller. For his birthday, John’s father bought him a box of seeds. John could not have received a better gift. His mother gave him a box of gardening gloves. John was equally excited about this gift as well. This year, John created a vegetable garden in his backyard. He used a fork to loosen the soil. He used a shovel to create drains between the garden beds, and he used boards to box off the garden beds. Within a few months, John created a thriving garden that produced loads of vegetables.
Rewrite the paragraph above, replacing the words or phrases in bold with a suitable word or phrase from the lists below.
Only: merely, barely, no more than, just, scarcely, just about, hardly
But: all the same, however, nonetheless, yet, even so, still, in spite of this
Skilled: accomplished, an expert, trained, skillful, experienced, practiced, competent, proficient, consummate, gifted, adept, talented, exceptional, artistic, endowed, clever, capable, brilliant, arty
Handling: manipulating, operating, working, controlling, maneuvering, utilizing, applying
Bought: gave, presented, granted, awarded, furnished, provided