Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Case of the Lifted Lettuce

It was a dark and stormy season . . . or too dry, or too something for my leafy greens to grow very well.  I planted lettuce, spinach, and carrots at the right time, and then again later.  But, except for about three carrot seeds, two spinach seeds, and one lettuce, they just did not sprout.  The only lettuce that has grown successfully in my garden this year sprang from established roots, one of those "live" lettuces from the store.  It grew back nicely, and I saved it for a special occasion.

I looked forward to adding it to my Grilled Chicken and Mango Salad last night.  I tore the remainder of last week's farmers' market lettuce into the bowl, then went out to the garden to harvest the fresher head.  But where was it?  In the space where, so recently, green leaves grew, there was only a hole.

Exhibit A:  the hole
The leaves had not been nibbled away, nor slimed by slugs.  The lettuce was simply gone, roots and all.  The lettuce lovers of my family denied any involvement.  Upon whom could I call to solve this mystery?  The Scouts, of course!  (Never mind that they were also the aforementioned lettuce lovers, and therefore suspects.  A Scout is trustworthy.)

The Caterpillar applied the skills he developed last year for his Stalking--I mean Tracking--Merit Badge to find this evidence:

Exhibit B:  the track

He identified the culprit as a raccoon.  This makes sense.  We know there are raccoons in the neighborhood, that their paws are capable of uprooting small plants, and that they will eat anything (not just the cat food the neighbors set out for them).  

Having convicted the miscreant (in absentia), the Cub Scouts sprang into action to prevent further leafy larcenies.

Exhibit C:  scare tactics

It  may not have the power of a brass serpent on a pole, but Scoot believes that this shiny CD fish will startle potential felons, and encourage them to go home and rethink their lives.

Exhibit C:  the League of Protection

Rollo contributed another fish (made at Cub Scout Day Camp).  He is also searching for a hero with animal communication skills.  He'd like to interrogate the bees.  Busybodies like bees should know what is going on in a garden, don't you think?  If not, Rollo's glowing countenance and Super D2's moral support may win the day and prevent further robberies.

Not that I have any lettuce left to steal, anyway.

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