Giving a fig


My fig tree is nearly ready to give up its fruit. Every time I look at the green, slowly thickening bulbs, I know I have to be both patient and swift. Here's the thing about figs: they are sun-kissed-sweet, and they are darkly-purple-ominous. Nature, such a trickster. The first year our tree fruited, I gently pushed a leaf aside to reveal a beautiful dark orb. What I failed to see against the wash of color without my never-handy glasses, were the sturdy black bodies of ants scouring the sweetness for themselves. Since I care about these things, I watch my figs well now. I am ever-ready to step in before the hoards. I'll leave my diminutive friends a few, not to worry, but that first bite memory--think it over slowly, yep, that was my first bite taken with enthusiasm--reinforces in me an abiding respect for the allowance made by our great good Earth for the food gathering needs of all creatures.

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