Fruit Thief

Living in Southern California means that I can grow fruit trees, but it also provides an abundance of fruit thieves. A few years back when my boyfriend Danny and I decided to start planting fruit trees, we were expecting that animals would occasionally rob us of some of the delicious fruit when it started growing. Well, we were spot on. Last year we started seeing small orange balls beginning to grow on the branches of one tree, I was ecstatic! Seeing as I don’t have any kids and Dan is allergic to dogs and cats, these trees became my babies, and it was thrilling to see the fruit sprout; but along with my new produce, came new visitors. It wasn’t long after my first orange sighting that I catch sight of a sneaky little critter making off with one in his paws.
I immediately marched Danny down to the nearest Home Depot to find something to protect my little saplings (though they hardly were anymore) from the intruders. We bought ourselves some bricks and cement and spent the rest of the night laying a two-foot tall wall around all five of our various citrus trees, I was determined to keep them safe from predators, but it didn’t work for long. A few weeks ago I started finding busted open fruits laying on the ground, insides eaten out! I was awestruck, what sort of thief could so slyly maneuver over the wall, up the tree, and back down only to litter my lawn with the rinds?
It only got worse from there, on Saturday last week we had a little rain that wet the ground just enough for me to see the footprints that the culprit had left behind. To my surprise, it looked just like a tiny hand! I would not stand to see some four-fingered creature stealing my fruit and I had Danny setting traps in the yard before the sun set that evening, and it paid off. Last night we caught ourselves a rat, and though my battle is far from over, I was pleased to have finally identified one of my fruit thieves.

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