Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Tomatoes & Grand Maester Aleister

Life is like growing tomatoes.  You plant them, a whole lot of them, red ones and purple ones and black ones and green ones and ones that are supposed to beat cancer.  You fertilize them and mulch them and weed them and every single day you water them (and if you're really crazy, you bring a measuring stick to see how much your little darlings have grown since yesterday).  You think:  These are going to be the best tomatoes ever.  These tomatoes are going to be legen... dary!

Then one day you're inspecting your plant and you see this:

An evil monster.  Okay, a tomato caterpillar.  Either way, it has invaded the sanctity of your garden and is currently munching down on your beautiful plants.

And you can't kill it because, you know, you're incapable of killing things.  You are the person who finds a mouse in a glue trap and gently, lovingly rinses its tiny hands and tail in warm soapy water to extract it, and then let it go running right back into the hole behind your cupboard where it's presumably been storing all the ramen it steals.

So a cute little green worm that's all busy trying to look ferocious?  Please, bitch.  Get out of jail free card.

But you carry it all the way across the yard to release it elsewhere, and hope that's all there is to the tomato munching.

Then the leaves of one plant start to yellow and droop.

Another plant develops black spots.

A third plant is the victim of a weed-whacker-wielding maniac (you).

And six whole plants decide to tear their stakes out of the ground and fall over and oh god they can't get up.

And you despair, you think these plants are never going to yield tomatoes, they are all going to die and all your hard work all your tears and blood yes blood from all the goddamn insect bites and stings, all of that pain is going to mean jack shit.

And then--


The first tomato ripens.

At the same time that you have an abundance of fresh basil and a new block of mozzarella.

And all is right with the world.

The owl, in case you are wondering, is named Grand Maester Aleister.  About the same time I picked him up from the Antiques Barn, I found the first owl pellet out back in my herb garden.  Full of fur and bones and lovely things.  This, after the voles or some other tiny creatures devoured my strawberry crop.

So I can't kill living things but... beware my loyal attack owl.

I'm pretty sure I meant to go somewhere else with this post.