I knew it was too good to be true. All this week I had been marvelling at my backyard serviceberry tree. I planted it last summer. It produced a handful or two of berries, most of them quickly devoured by racoons, squirrels and birds. Oh well, I thought, next year will be better. Sure enough, this year the serviceberry branches are just dripping with berries. I spent many a minute standing before the berry-laden branches, picking one here and one there and basking in the glow of success.
So perhaps I jinxed myself by sharing this great garden news with a fellow green-thumb. "I have been having such luck with my serviceberry" I said to my colleague. "Last year, the raccoons picked it clean. This year, the berries haven't been touched." Even as I was saying the words, I wanted to take them back. They seem like an invitation to disaster. So you can imagine my horror when I stepped out into the backyard to find this.
My tree had been decapitated! Something had snapped the main horizontal branch and a side branch right off. (I imagined a big fat raccoon leaping from the top of the fence to land on the top branch.) There was a scream when I saw the damage, not a very loud one mind you, but a sad, defeated scream. It was followed by several minutes of angry mutterings peppered with profanity.
Shifting into damage control mode was the only option lest I sink into a pit of all-consuming bitterness and rage. I cut back the damaged branches and then summoned the family to the back deck telling them to start picking. Something's after our berries, I declared. The best revenge was to get to the berries before the critters did. And what a tasty revenge it was.