During this Kattywampus year, my latest garden oddity is the tasty, and a two-week-early Bartlett Pear harvest. The trick is to harvest them immediately before, or just after they fall. Refrigerate them for a few days, and they will finish ripening nicely.
I’m especially happy because the pear tree had a blight, and spraying treated it quite well, to our relief.
The little birds, bees, and hummers have been enjoying the pear blossoms all Spring. I thought now it’s our turn to enjoy the pears.
But the first week, 40% of the fallen pears were already partly eaten. Our harvest suffered. I decided to call on our local jack of all trades, and master of none; “Red” Woodman.
Red came by, in the strangest pickup truck; It was a Cadillac limo front half, welded to a pickup bed for the back half. huge cloud of ganja smoke puffed into the air as he closed the driver’s window.
He swaggered into my backyard and stared at the damaged bucket of pears for a long minute.
“Weeelll,” he drew out his answer, while puffing a big toke on an ornately carved pipe..
“When my folks lived in the Old Country, before we fled to here with nothing but the clothes on our back and the Carpathian Crown Jewels, we knew what to call this,” His voice shook, “Vampsquirrels!”
“Notice how several of the pears have the stems bitten off? The squirrels do that so the pears fall to the ground for easy pickings. It reminds the Vampsquirrels about how they used to bite people on the neck.”
“But why would they keep falling pears when a dozen are already laying on the ground?”
“Once a Vampsquirrel tastes sweet ripe pear juice, they go into a killing frenzy. Sometimes it takes a dozen half eaten pears to sate them.”
“How would vampires cross breed with squirrels to create Vampsquirrels?”
“Some bright lights tried eating squirrel brains that harbored an odd prion infection; this is the result.”
Old Red wanted $5000 US or the equivalent in BitCoins to rid me of the Vampsquirrels, , which I could not afford. He left.
I pondered this unlikely situation, until I dozed off, after a gin and tonic and an edible.
My hand was unlatching the door lock when my cell phone abruptly rang, awakening me. It was Red.
“Listen, what ever you do, don’t let them in!!” He urged. I re-latched the door lock, and sweated my narrow escape.
Now it’s your turn.
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What have you noted in your area or travels? Any ravenous squirrels in your yard? Please post your observations and general location in your comments. I’ll check back by lunchtime.