Once upon five or seven years ago, I planted a plum tree too close to the street which was a bugle-call to passing neighbors:
Why stop at two or three?
All you can carry!
Bring the car!
And to squirrels and birds:
Please Scatter slimy purple plum bits everywhere!
No need to eat the whole plum!
One bite is best!
So this year I went out early to outfox my nemesises -- canvas bag in hand, to pick as many as I could reach. Never mind that they were still hard greenish rocks, the point was THEY WERE MINE!
But it was difficult to pluck the plum babies off the branch when they were so young and helpless. They didn't let go easily. I could practically hear them cry, NO! NOT YET!!!!
So I only took a few. Put them on the windowsill. Squeezed them daily like the witch in Hansel & Gretel.
I just wanted to pick and eat one plum, ok eleven plums, soft, sweet, juicy, perfectly ripe, warm from the sun. Was that too much to ask in exchange for all the fertilizer and water????
Hey! I would have eaten those! I told the tree. But she dropped even more before their time.
Was she telling her babies, Enough is enough, get the hell outta here and get your own life? Or was she saying, Be free little seeds! Be fruitful and multiply!?
Either way, she was crazy to plant them there! Did she really want another plum tree just like herself to take hold and grow so close at her side? Did she want to spend her life battling her own offspring for water and light?
That's the stuff of Greek tragedy!
It didn't make sense. So I decided I'd be helping all concerned by picking the rest of her plums, gobbling them up and carrying away the pits.
Apparently I was not alone in that thought. You saw this coming, of course, and I should have too. But this am I crept up on my plum tree, canvas bag at the ready... and I was too late. Not a one left on the tree.