Have I introduced you to the human version of birds that steal strawberries?
I have certainly told you countless times before about the war we rage against the birds for our fruits. I have yet to tell you, however, about how we also rage a silent war between parents and siblings.
I call it silent war because, when it comes to the fruits of our lakou lakay, only the sharpest members of our household get to enjoy the best ones. The most clever one always finds a way to handpick the fruits before the birds or anyone else can get to them.
This mostly happens with the trees that do not produce in abundance or which fruits do not all ripen at the same time. I am talking here about our stingy plum tree, our peach tree which usually only produces one or two big fruits at each harvest, and those strawberries that my dad brought us back a few months ago.
The sight of these crops instantly took me on a trip down memory lane. Throughout my childhood, my dad and my sister had a thing for those plants that were theirs and theirs exclusively. We all knew not to handpick the fruits, and to wait until one of them felt like sharing one with us.
Simply put, no one was to touch those fruits without my sister or my dad’s consent! Anyone who wanted to eat a freshly handpicked strawberry had to get their permission first, unless of course they managed to steal one, which I did quite often.
Those strawberries had turned me into those birds that sneak their way into devouring the most beautiful fruits of our yard. The only difference is that, while those birds always leave the fruits hanging on the tree, I handpick mine without leaving a trace.
Unfortunately for all of us at home, we were not the only ones who were fond of those strawberries. Some mud crawlers always seemed to get there first. Just like the birds, they took a bite out of the most beautiful fruits, leaving us with a half-eaten strawberry hanging on a branch.
This was one of the main reasons we had stopped planting strawberries. My dad and sister had gotten tired of raging a war against insects and human birds. They simply did not have enough fruits to harvest for this war to be worthy of their time.
So once again, I am left wondering why my father brought those back into our yard. Maybe he is ready to go to war once more?
One thing remains certain; I will have to sneak my way into handpicking those fruits just like old times. After all, just a few weeks ago, I only got a tiny bite out of one of the first fruits. And that simply isn’t enough to satisfy my palate.