Well, the years have passed and six became nine, became none, became 12, became six, and this year became a multitude. Maybe 40 or 50. I picked 20 or so and we ate them.
Remember the great William Carlos Williams' poem – This is Just to Say? (I don’t have time right now to poetsplain why this is such a great poem, so you’ll just have to trust me…)
I have eaten
that were in
you were probably
they were delicious
and so cold
They were like that. Homegrown. Poetry. To be proud of.
This evening I went outside with an empty bowl to pick the remaining 20-30 of our first ever main crop. But them plums were gone. All of them. I mean all of them. Nothing was left. What the fuck? Do squirrels eat plums? Do the bastards wait until they’re ripe? Really? What about birds? I have a gun. (Well, no, I don’t but I should get one, you know, what with a bunker under the greenhouse and the impending apocalypse and all…)
Or did thieving little Shifnal scroats on their holidays sneak into the front garden and nick them? As a one-time scrumper this is my favourite theory, but it’s hard to believe, given the whole summer I’ve yet to see any kids playing unsupervised down the lane. I’d ask around but many people round here would suck their cheeks and immediately blame travellers…
Our main worry is that our new neighbours might have liberated them? This plum-stealing elephant now hangs tantalisingly over our nascent relationship. How does one broach that as a subject? Better hope it's squirrels.
Still, once we had plums…