Monday, October 27, 2008
Precious Baby Coconuts
Yesterday afternoon, my friend and neighbor called me to find out what or who I had been yelling at in my backyard. She heard me out there making a racket and was a little alarmed at what could possibly be wrong. Although I confess that, at times, I would like to yell bloody murder at my husband or sons, I was actually taking my wrath out on a bleepety-bleep squirrel.
Right outside my office window, there grows a coconut palm. Now coconut palms are a little tender for this far north in Florida, and we had this one for some years before it decided to bloom. Shortly after blooming (which the bees adore), little baby coconuts start to form and grow. It's just amazing to watch how fast they plump up - kind of like watching corn grow, you can almost see it happening.
One day, I noticed I had a lot fewer baby coconuts than previously, so I went outside to see what was happening. Were they falling off? Were they diseased? A closer investigation revealed that they had been gnawed off! I kept my eye out for the culprit, and later that afternoon along comes Mr. Squirrel - a dirty rat under any name. He (she, they) was the sneaky thief that was eating my tender young babies.
Apparently, young baby coconuts must be especially delicious to this vermin varmint, because he is especially persistent. That's why I had to take drastic measures. When I saw him stalking my babies yesterday afternoon, I let myself out the back door quietly, tip-toed over to where he was making his approach, and started screaming at him. Don't ask me for a direct quote - I was pretty mad and looking to intimidate. He dashed across the lawn and scrambled up the elm tree, while I grabbed a garden rake and starting banging on the tree with it, threatening to impale him upon its tines the next time he shows his furry face.
So, that's what all the ruckus was about in my backyard yesterday afternoon. By the way, this is our second crop of coconuts this year. My first crop up and disappeared one day, carried off and eaten and drunk by the coconut fairy and his friends.