The Thief in My Garden

It’s a good thing I got up early this morning.  Crack of dawn. And there he was, the thief.  He made a run for it as soon as he got a glimpse of me, tail up in the air waving like a flag.  I’m usually pretty easy to get along with, but not this morning.  Not with this thief in my garden.  He ran like any wild thing would.  Ran straight down the middle of the road, under the overhanging Laurel Tree, and I… I ran after him of course.  I ran until I realized it was useless.  His four legs could outrun my two without skipping a heart beat or even breathing heavily.  He ran with one of my prize plums in his mouth. 

Damn squirrel.  I don’t mind if they eat the walnuts on the trees in the front yard, just beyond the forest of bright orange Honey Suckle, but my plums…no way!  

Just a few months ago I awakened to see the tiniest little green buds perched on the fragile limbs of that Plum Tree.  Oh! I prayed the buds would make it through the heavy winds and rains that followed their birth.   

They don’t usually, you see.  It’s a battle between different kinds of nature, and I so wanted to have them follow all the stages of life.  Yes, I know I could go down to Whole Foods and buy a pound of plums, but it’s not the same.  The Grocery Store plums are from foreign places.  I’m sure their owner takes pride in their birthing and reaching maturity like any good parent overseer, and I’m grateful for them, but still, my tree is special.  I planted it 10 years ago and I’ve been watching it grow a little taller and stronger every year.

So what did I do you might wonder.  I lost the battle with that fast squirrel and I knew he’d be back.  He’d probably be back with all of his friends to gnaw on those little green plums.  Yes, green.  Not even bright red yet.  Squirrels don’t wait, they just scamper up, crawl along the fragile limbs, grab what they can and run. 

When I calmed down I went into the back yard and came back with a fruit picker and a big bag. I carefully grasped my plums, one by one, and coached them into the basket of that picker. I rescued at least 50.   

They are in the house now, safe from that frisky squirrel and his friends, except for the three I had to leave on the very top of the tree.  I couldn’t reach that high.  

Now it’s my turn to bite into their sweetness…when they have a few days to turn red of course.  Life offers so many challenges and I just try to conquer what I can.