In past times the marauders took all.
This year we vowed to defend against their incursion.
The harbingers arrived yesterday evening, as we ate the evening meal. I gazed out the open windows and into the gardens as is my habit in weather fair and foul. The grape clusters are small this year, but numerous, and their purpling flesh glowed in the lowering sunlight. I admired their bounty and watched the leaves of the vines rustle in our summery breezes.
But wait. My eyes sharpened and I peered intently. Not breezes rustling the leaves! Not breezes at all! The leaves shook and shimmied as two, no three, no! Many robins and starlings gripped the vines with tiny feet and ravaged the fruits with rapacious beaks. A fight broke out over a particularly lush patch. Wretched pillagers fighting! Over MY grapes!
“They are here!” I announced to the WideEyedSpouse, “They are in the grapes!” He slewed about in his chair and gaining his feet stormed the arbor with determined strides. The winged looters fled his arrival, perching tauntingly out of reach on roof and tree.
The Spouse returned to the kitchen. “Our loses are small yet,” he gravely reported. We thought on it. Do we cede all to the feathered freebooters? Do we protect the harvest, as we vowed? “The air rifle we saw in the market earlier today would make short work of the problem,” he decided with a dark eye. I could see him measuring distance, angle, wind – seeing in his mind’s eye the small pirates falling from the arbor. Neutralized.
“Yes,” I agreed, uncertain of the wisdom of this choice, “but they are many, and you must sleep sometime.” We loaded into the Mighty Pathfinder and set about procuring defensive matériel. We fought even tinier marauders bent on attacking our very persons, buzzing in our ears as we draped the precious harvest with fine netting. “How can this work?” we asked ourselves of the fine, light nylon.
Today the vile garden thieves circle the arbor, cheeping tactical data to one another. The netting wafts in the airy day, effective still. Wish us luck Friends, as we guard our precious grapes.