It started like any other proper English mystery. A beautiful day in the country. Dick and I had loaded up all of our precious castaways (junk) in the truck and headed to Neeners for our annual garage sale. Since we live out in the middle of nowhere and are fully aware that no one would drive more than 10 feet to see our sale items, we go to Neeners’ house which is in a more well travelled location. In exchange for letting us use her garage, we set up the sale, pay for the ad and haul everything to Goodwill afterward. Neeners somehow always makes out like a bandit, while last year, we ended up $25 in the hole. When we arrived, Neeners was pacing around in the garage, anxious to go to her weekly hair appointment at Edna’s. Neeners says she is getting her hair ‘done’. We, her children, refer to it as getting her hair ‘shellacked’. I swear to you she can withstand gale force winds upon her return. And as usual, as she was dashing out the door, announced “Oh, I haven’t priced any of my stuff. Use your best judgement”. And she was gone, burning rubber out the driveway.
By and by she returned, settled herself in a comfy chair in the driveway, and surveyed her earnings thus far. She began,”Mother’s Day is coming. Hint. Hint.” To distract her, I thought we could take a stroll out into the garden to see how our Sugar Snap Peas were doing. Out we went…..I froze….Neeners froze…..something was amiss. Something was terribly amiss. And then the swearing started. “Something has been into the peas!!! Look at the devastation!! (this is one of Neeners favorite words)” And so it was:
The newest planting had been chewed right down to the ground. Not a leaf left in sight.
And the oldest planting on the last half of the row fared equally as poorly:
What in the world happened? A marauding wild bunny? Raccoon? Whoever or whatever it was ate every leaf off an entire twenty foot row of our precious peas. We looked for clues. There were no footprints – this appeared to eliminate the theory of rabbits or raccoons. One feather was located. We agreed it was a red herring, and that the real culprit must have left it to get us off the scent. Neeners got mad. Then she got furious. By then Dick had joined us. He had seen a chipmunk innocently, or so it appeared, eating grass in Neeners back yard. Mr. Chipmunk seemed the most likely suspect, so we went with that. And Neeners, that old softy, looked up at Dick and said “Rip them out. It’s time to plant the pole beans in this bed anyway.” And with that she marched off.
Dick obeyed her command half way. He pulled out the first 10 feet of the little guys, but thought there might be hope for the taller ones in the second half of the bed. And what do you know…two weeks later: If our luck holds, we’re gonna have some Sugar Snap Peas one of these days!!