Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pumpkin Folly

I would like to think the squirrels in my nabe are a step above the average hyena or North Jersey gavone.  Sadly, they ain't.

To wit: I put a pumpkin out on Thursday afternoon.  By Friday, a squirrel was making like Michael Phelps  diving into that thing.

It emerged two-fisting the pumpkin seeds, drunk from vegetative overload.   In record time, my front steps were covered in pumpkin guts and seed scraps. 

I grabbed my cat, parked her by the front door and told her she was on patrol until further notice.  Cats are really into following orders.

Cut to Columbus Day, which was about three days after the Great Pumpkin Massacre.  The town's schools were closed, so my son and I decided it was high time we went apple pickin'.  Only, back in April when New Jersey had a spring break, the temps hit 90 degrees.  So everything bloomed two weeks early.   Even apple blossoms.  So, apples were done and gone two weeks early.  Who knew?  Not us, that's for sure.

We got to the farm stand, and farm stand boy informed us, "You're too late, ma'am."  After I gave him a beat down for practically calling me "granny," we bought tickets for a hay ride to their pumpkin field.  That's right, I was taking my chances on getting more pumpkins.  I figured our cat had been on the job and secured the perimeter.  No squirrel in its right mind would breach our border.

Ryan told farm stand boy we'd take five pumpkins.  When I reminded Ry I have only two arms, the total got cut to three pumpkins.  Which was one too many considering... I'm me.  The pumpkins in the field were all average to huge in size.  Ryan said I should ask the dude running field ops for a bag to carry my two pumpkins.  It was a GREAT idea, except that the uber gourds didn't get any lighter or smaller in the Hefty bag.  But at least we got the damn things to the car without resorting to kicking them through the parking lot.

All was hunky dory until we got home.  That's when I saw, in our absence, the squirrel had eaten the ornamental kale I'd set out.   #!%@!!  Instead of a decorative purple and green cabbage on the steps, I was left to look at a plastic pot with four chewed up leaves and a white spiny middle staring up at me.

I yelled for Molly, our cat.

Me: "What happened?!  What's going on?!  Are you sleeping on the job or what!?"
Molly: "Mmmmph? Purrrrt."

My three Great Pumpkins?  They're in the living room 'til Halloween.