On my walk home from the florist last night, I noticed an older man on Trull Street having a smoke and contemplating a daylily bud. Wished him a good evening. Such a smile he gave me!
"We really need the rain for the gardens, don't we?" he answered in a thick accent I had a hard time placing. (Turns out it was Irish. I'm so used to older folks here having either an Italian or a Portuguese accent, that I'd forgotten a bit what Irish sounded like.)
"Goodness, don't we. I'm hoping for a lot more, because yesterday when I was digging, I noticed at least six inches of powder. It was awful!"
He then pointed to his marigolds. "See those? Who do you think's pulling them up. Who do you think?"
I answered truthfully that I had no idea.
"Goddamn starlings are picking at 'em. I just put them down last week, and they're eating them right up."
I told him about my strawberries and about how a squirrel in my yard's been eating them as soon as they turn ripe. -Several times over the past couple days, I've gone to pick one only to find a half-berry on the stem.
"Bastards, aren't they? I watch them every fall pulling up my tulip bulbs and eating them. They always leave half." His grin got wider. "I'll bet you'd love to get a gun and SHOOT them all, wouldn't you?"
How I laughed! (For the first time all weekend, in fact. Boy, did it feel good.) "Actually, I wouldn't mind; might be fun. I don't think my neighbors (not to mention the landlord) would be too happy, though..."
He nodded in agreement, wished me a good night and went back to considering the daylilies.