It all started with the apple tree.
I know, everything did start with an apple tree — well, not literally because we don’t know whether it was an apple or some other type of fruit that Eve ate in the Garden of Eden.
But I digress. This story starts with an apple tree.
An apple tree planted many years ago by one of our long-gone neighbors.
An apple tree that, despite our present neighbor’s inattention — no watering, no spraying, nothing — inexplicably has produced a bumper crop this year.
Now because of my neighbor’s lack of desire to eat these apples, the fruit drops onto our side of the fence.
Where it becomes a smorgasbord for varmint suffering through yet another season of drought.
The other day as I was glancing out the back window, something lumbered diagonally across the yard.
Something kind of black. Or grey. With beady eyes and a tail.
I wasn’t fast enough to get a picture of him, but here’s kind of what he looked like:
Not the cute little bandit-type with a mask and a grin, either.
Darling Doggie Dallas insisted on checking it out.
Fearing that “Ricky” might be rabid, I waited until he was mostly out of sight before turning Triple-D loose.
The Sheltie raced around the yard, nose to earth, finally chasing “Ricky” underneath the storage shed.
My first inclination was to grab my gun and blow that critter to smithereens. Don’t judge — I spent many years in Texas and have no problem shooting an interloper.
My second, more rational, idea was to call an expert.
I learned that, as long as the apples are around, “Ricky” will be, too. That unless I want to buy a tin of moistened cat food and lace it with poison (chancing that my dog or the neighbor’s cats or some poor unsuspecting squirrel or bird will get hold of it), there’s little else to do but wait him out.
Oh, sure, an “expert” can bring a trap, catch “Ricky,” and turn him loose somewhere else, but “Ricky” might very well be “Rachel” and have a bucket-load of babies. After all, they don’t wear signs denoting gender and frankly, they all look the same to me.
But back to the apple tree.
My neighbor doesn’t seem to want the fruit. Nor do we.
So I see one obvious solution to this problem.
Chop down the apple tree.
Sadly, I’m not as proficient with an axe as I am with a gun!