New Perspectives: Feisty But Adorable Neighbours – by Rev. Heather McCarrel

As the end of September draws near I know the time has come to do one of my least favorite tasks; turning over the vegetable garden.

Despite the baskets of vegetables this year’s harvest supplied, I still find it difficult to pull up plants that show the smallest hope of bearing new fruit.

As I stood by the garden on this chilly but bright morning it seemed the beans, now wandering way above my head, deliberately stretched to their fullest revealing the tiny new beans.  The tomato plants gleamed with a certain shine as the morning light danced off their many tiny green gems and the spinach was more thick and lush then I had remembered, tempting me to just return inside.

Twice over the past few weeks I had headed out with plans to pull up the garden and twice I had returned inside; today had to be different. Today I must be tough and get the task done.

Whispering an apology I began to pull up the small plants then made my way around to the tall beans and peas.  Once they were lying in heaps by the composter I returned to the tomato plants.  It was then I heard angry banter from one of my neighbors.  He made it clear that he wasn’t pleased with what I was doing.  His protests went from a harsh tongue lashing to throwing pine cones at me!

He sent down a few warning pine cones which loudly banged off of the metal roofed shed echoing throughout the yard.  I stopped, looked up and this little red squirrel stood on the edge of the tree bough twitching its tail in a rather threatening manner.

I laughed at his tenacity; but he wasn’t amused and with little effort, dropped a pine cone right in my direction. At this point my dog, who had been napping, joined me by the garden.  Together we stood looking up as pine cones rained down around us.

It would seem this tiny neighbor was very invested in the continued growth of my vegetable garden. Perhaps it was his high pitched “tit-titching” of me or his tense but adorable stance, but I decided to take his advice and the tomato plants still stand. As I gathered up all the garden tools and began to tidy up around the garden he quieted down and by the time I turned to go inside he was silent.

It wasn’t until an hour later I looked out the kitchen window and found this exasperating neighbor standing on the wooden edge of the raised garden enjoying a small green tomato.  I swear, he turned looked me straight in the eye and smiled as he continued to enjoy his lunch!

May we all be blessed by feisty but adorable neighbors,