Tomato thief identified!

Posted in Thoughts and Reflections at 10:20 pm by admin

Well it happened again. Our first “real” tomato, a “big boy”, about 5 inches in diameter. I’ve been watching it change from the first hints of yellow to a beautiful vibrant red for over a week. This afternoon I was on the phone with Daniel during his lunch break, and I walked out to the herb garden to describe the tomato to him. I had finished watering the herb garden earlier in the day and noticed the tomato was ready to pick, but again thought I’d wait until later in the afternoon when I made a salad for dinner. I should have picked it then. A friggin’ squirrel!!!, there in the garden, munching on the tomato. I couldn’t believe my eyes, but then I remembered.

About ten years ago we went through a terrible drought in Pennsylvania with water rationing. Even with our own well, the government imposed the rationing here. It was very tough on the pond and tougher on the vegetable garden. Every drop of pond waste water went to the garden. The grass was brown and brittle. I don’t think I cut the grass for two straight months that summer.

One day as I drove down the driveway after arriving home from work, I noticed a commotion in the garden. I couldn’t imagine what it was. After I parked the car, I walked down to the garden to find three squirrels stealing green tomatoes. Two of the squirrels dropped their spoils and ran for the trees, but the last wouldn’t let go of his tomato as he tired to climb through the wire fence around the garden, put there as a deterrent to the deer population. The fence openings were 2 x 3 inches and the squirrel couldn’t get the tomato through the fence. Try as it did to force the tomato through no luck, and it even bloodied its snout in the process. Then the squirrel started to run around the fence about a foot off the ground, round and round as if it were on a treadmill going sideways. Every half lap it would try to push through the fence with tomato in tow, but to no avail. It was one of the funniest things I had ever seen. Finally on the last lap, I started to chase it. With my yelling and waving my arms it finally dropped the tomato and escaped. The dumb animal never thought to climb over the top of the fence. I entered the garden through the gate and picked up the dozen or so tomatoes that were laying on the ground with teeth marks in them. They were no good to me and I felt pity for the squirrels, so I threw the ruined tomatoes under the tree the three thieves had escaped to. I think that was a mistake. They learned the taste of tomatoes, and today was evidence of that.

Damn squirrels.


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