For a while, alpha-squirrel Buster behaved, preferring to woo the younger squirrelettes with his dashing savoir-faire. But as I discovered in mid-summer, this reprieve from his shenanigans was temporary…
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For the past several weeks the pride and joy of my patio garden has been a single, Brandywine-Boy tomato hanging just so on a towering plant nearly six-feet tall. Day by day the ripening fruit has increased in size — the only Brandy Boy tomato that’s been able to survive the terrible heat wave we’ve been having. I patted the fat crimson (as opposed to red!) globe yesterday and said, “Tomorrow, fellah. Tomorrow’s your day. Tomorrow you will make an outstanding bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich or two.”
Last night I misted Brandy Boy lightly before heading for bed, where visions of sandwiches danced in my head.
This morning I sipped my coffee as I stepped onto the patio deck garden awash in sunshine. The gleam of bright yellow banana peppers greeted me, as did glistening green baby bells, curious zucchini and fingerling crooknecks. And over there in the corner, right over THERE sat — Buster the Squirrel quietly nibbling on something distinctively crimson (as opposed to red!) in color.
“Buster!” I shouted. “You son of a. . .”
Buster dropped Brandy Boy and smacked his tomato-juiced lips, clicking his pinkish teeth for effect before scampering away, easily dodging the hastily flung coffee cup. I picked up the gnawed, mutilated remains of my only Brandywine-Boy tomato and crushed it slowly inside my clenched, upraised fist. Warm juice and tomato seeds dribbled down my arm and dripped off my elbow. “You want WAR? You GOT war!”
From a far away treetop smelling faintly like a fresh BLT sandwich — and at about the same time tomato juice reached my armpit — came a satisfied chuckle.