house of happy

Life adventures in prose and verse. Explorations of places, people and words. Stories and fun.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

The Pumpkin Plot and the Squash Squad

Harvest day at the quinta. The garden I watered all summer looks sad and spent. There are pumpkins in the brown leaves, a few dry beans, corn, some late tomatoes. Close by, horror: the pumpkins have deep cuts and grazes, one old courgette is chopped into bits and scattered to rot in the leaves. Gardening detectives arriving at the scene neeee-naaw neee-naaw.

We find the crime weapon: a matter-of-fact spade, tries to throw us with a fake alibi but the evidence is conclusive: there is pumkin juice on the blade, and a courgette seed stuck to the handle.

Needless to say, no witnesses, but soon we have a lead: Kira brought us a squash yesterday which proves her presence at the scene of the crime; soon, a suspect: Kira. We apprehend the said suspect without a fight and place her under preventive arrest (on kitchen bench 'and don't go anywhere!').

We decide on a bad cop / good cop approach for the interview, but in the event there's no need of a bad cop: the suspect confesses readily, almost proudly, to the crime. She had spotted the rotten courgette lying in the grass and decided that the entire harvest was suffering from an incurable disease that would have them – and eventually us – poisoned and writhing in agony. By wielding the spade she was saving them – and us – from a slow and painful death.

A swift sentence of community service is passed. Kira will have her own garden next year, to plant, weed and water daily, in the hope that such restorative activities will make her think twice about maiming or murdering the harvest.

What about the condemned pumpkins? A tentative solution presents itself: pumpkin and orange (and /or cinnamon?) marmalade. And who will grate the pumpkins and oranges? The accused. And who will sell the marmalade at the school fair next week? The accused. And what will the accused buy with the money? Seeds for her garden. And so on.

P.S. In the paragraph above, I think you can safely replace 'the accused' by 'the mother of the accused', but don't tell the bad cop.


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