Tuesday May 15th 2012 Tim
A person knows his place when he
can stand in the center of his Vegetable Garden and watch a Mockingbird
harvest a Strawberry. There is a brief struggle, because
Strawberry are always just that little bit reluctant to let go of their
fruit unless that fruit has achieved the condition of perfectly ripe,
which in the Vegetable Garden is not a thing that happens due to
pressure from those of us who compete for Strawberry. Then
off goes the Mockingbird with a Strawberry in his beak. Nor is
this an easy thing for a Mockingbird to do, because Strawberries are
large and roundish and awkward, while a Mockingbird's beak is rather
delicate and flying with beak agape must make it difficult to see where
you're going. So far as I can tell, of two legged creatures,
Mockingbirds and People are the only kind that carry off Strawberry.
Everyone else prefers to wallow and peck in the course of their
strawberry harvest. No clue what the Garden Mouse or the Chipmunk does,
and incidentally still no Stinkbug.
It can also be discouraging to find
Strawberries in various conditions of ripeness dotted around and quite a
long distance from the bed where they began life as flowers. These
discoveries give an appearance of rampant carelessness and disregard for the
dignity of a Strawberry. They stare up from the gravel or the cut
grass or the path and they cry out, "what have I done wrong!" It is
the case though, that in the earlier part of the Strawberry season if a
person puts an imaginary line between one of these abandoned Strawberry and
the Strawberry bed, and he follows that line, odds are it leads to a
Mockingbird nest. And always it surprises me how large Mockingbird children
are and how many of them there have been these past years. Then around
now, as Strawberry season draws to its end, younger Mockingbird hang out in
the Raspberry, so they can see exactly how a Strawberry is harvested.
This means that in a week or so, when Raspberry ripen, the youngsters
will know exactly what's expected from them.