I hate you.
Every Sunday, starting in early August, I like to take a moment before my sister's family and I sit down for our weekly dinner to inspect the Italian plum tree out back of their house. It's a greedy kind of inspection, because for the past two years, the tree (on a vacant lot covered in brambles and spider webs) has been supplying us with six months' worth of jam, plus a couple bottles of plum liqueur and ratafia. The late spring had made the fruit sparse this year, but I figured we could still get 20-30 pounds off the tree. Until they started disappearing. Then they weren't there at all.
"Raccoons," said my brother-in-law. "A whole family of them. We've been hearing them in the trees the past month."
Chalk one up to nature, I thought. At least I have other sources. Maggie D. has promised me some from her tree. And my friend Anne said that she had a friend in Newcastle who had an overabundant tree. We scheduled a trip to harvest it on Sunday.
Until I got a call on Saturday evening. "Raccoons and deers," Anne said, sadly. "They've stripped the tree this week. My friend doesn't think there are any left."
Maggie, you are now my only hope. I expect you to be guarding your backyard with a pellet gun and a sneer. As for you, fellow opportunistic omnivores, someday I will exact my revenge.
Is this just a run of bad luck on my part, or are raccoons invading Seattle?