Thursday, 13 December 2018

Me Ilex, You ...

by Roger Noons

a  cup of mulled cider

All around the garden, we’re agreed. He shouldn’t be allowed within a mile of a pair of secateurs; he’s a maniac. No idea of where or how to cut. If I could afford it, I’d hire a lawyer, take him to court, have an order made against him. Of course this time of year is the worst, thinks he’s got carte blanche to attack my missus and me. Encouraged by his wife, he ’s in the garden as soon as he’s finished his breakfast until she calls him for lunch.
    ‘I’ve promised next door they can have a goodly-sized bunch with lots of berries and Mother likes to have some for the hall.’ She tells him. ‘We could take any spare to church for the Christmas Fayre.’
    ‘Yes, dear, that’s a good idea.’
    Not that she ever ventures to our end, might muck up her fancy shoes, get dried leaves in her hair or mud on her skirt. Last year I tried to trick them into eating a few berries, shook some of my wife’s leaves over the herbs. You see our lovely, rosy drupes are poisonous to people, but those two are not quite that daft. Mind you he’s not very bright, went to the Garden Centre and asked the woman there if he could buy a mistletoe shrub. I bet she laughed. When we heard his wife telling the next door neighbour, we all had a titter.
    I think I might have got one across him this year though. We had a wet September, storms day after day were misery for birds. Our leaves are good at shedding water, we’re dry in no time. A pair of blackbirds had a second clutch late on, and when the weather was bad we provided shelter. Along with thrushes, they enjoy eating our berries and the bonus is they distribute our seeds. So we shall encourage them to visit us during the Festive Season. He’ll still come carolling along with his pruning tongs, but if there are no berries we’ll not suffer as much. I fear that will send him elsewhere for his crowns of thorns, but in this life it’s every tree for himself.

About the author

Roger is a regular contributor to Cafe Lit.

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