Yes, It's a Shoe
I suspected all along that they were out there.
When I awake with the first sunbeams through the Maple trees, I sometimes hear the distant whistle of a teensy tea kettle somewhere in the honeysuckle.
If I peak cautiously through the window shades, a flash of color disappears beneath the rosebush. Those leaves shape into fine little tubs to catch the spray from the sprinklers. Maybe the older ones enjoy a nice soak. The rest of them are familiar with the watering schedule and most likely take pleasure in a brisk but satisfying shower.
While weeding beneath the Viburnum I hear them talking; I recognize the sound, but you might mistake it for crickets. My innocent smile denotes my pleasure in the cadence but does not alert them to my clever discernment.
Sometimes it is frustrating to reach for what appears to be a perfect tomato, only to discover that they drilled into it during the night and hollowed out the ripened flesh.
Nothing in my garden is safe from the little marauding thieves. There are leaves torn in my basil and chunks removed from the ripest strawberries. The little trails through the beets and the carrots indicate the foraging is a daily routine. Sometimes the missing portions of the leaves in the bean and squash appear to be specific designs. The patterns are ideal for their impish hats, trousers, and skirts.
Then yesterday, one just barely escaped me!
A sweet craving sent Kim and I on a late evening forage of the small strawberry patch. I walked to the opposite side as she began pushing aside the greenery for a closer inspection. There were many plump berries available, and Kim’s fingers grasped the closest one.
That is when the little one made his self known. He jumped right out of his boot, left it securely in her grasp, raced away, under and through the camouflaging plants and dived under the fence.
“Oh look!” Squealed Kim, “A Little Shoe!”
I, of course, took a photograph!