Mom, entirely too happy for the occasion: I’m here for the walnuts!
Me, looking up at her from the ground: Why on Earth you want to introduce the evil that is this tree into your yard is beyond me.
Mom: The squirrels will love them.
Me: If the squirrels need you to feed them, they should be weeded out by evolution. Survival of the fittest, Mom.
Mom: Well, aren’t we in a good mood?
Me: There’s dirt under my nails, my clothes reek of walnut stench and my knees hurt from crawling all over the back yard. I feel I have earned the right to be less than pleasant.
Mom: The squirrels will appreciate it.
Me: Your squirrels’ happiness means nothing to me. In fact, I think I’d rather they be sad. Yeah, I like the idea of your depressed squirrels moping through your yard. I hope they’ll be too depressed to eat these walnuts!
Mom ignored my huffiness and we went about loading the boxes of gathered walnuts into the back of her Jeep. We filled the back completely and there were still loads of walnuts in the yard. I decided I was going to fill up five more 5-gallon buckets, toss them into the compost pile and be done with it for the day.
As we were tossing walnuts into the bucket, mom suggested it would be easier to just return them to where they came from. When I asked her what she meant, she tossed a walnut under the fence into the yard where the walnut tree lived and then proclaimed, “Ta da!”
“Yep,” she said cheerfully, “That was way easier.”
I told her it doesn’t work that way and went back to loading the bucket. She continued to toss them under the fence.
I will neither confirm nor deny if I joined her in this type of behavior.
All I’m going to say is she started it.
Misty Knisely is managing editor of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5155 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.