Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Perfect Pears

Forget about partridges in pear trees.

On this day of Christmas
Our good friends sent to me
(also addressed, for some unknown reason, to Mr. and Mrs. Warren)
Perfect pears
In Harry and David
Padded packing boxes.

Richard and I were napping when we heard the postman’s horn. As I rose from the bed, it occurred to me that the postman may have been here to deliver the pears promised by the Sterlings. If this was the case, I knew I had to hurry to the porch to retrieve them before Gypsy adopted the box.

Gypsy has a habit of retrieving anything thrown on our driveway or left on our porch bench. We’ve found important Fed-Exed documents in several of her special hiding places. The advertising newspaper she treats as her weekly dog toy gift, she carries to her lair for her reading pleasure. We would have been sorely distressed if she carried off our pears, especially since human food gives her the runs. What a waste of a precious natural resource that would have been, especially since we can’t use dog poop as garden gold.

We were told before we adopted our Great Pyrenees from the shelter that she wandered and stole things; we, therefore, named her Gypsy. What we didn’t know is the wide variety of things she’d bring to her various lairs. We’ve had to collect from her dead and dying squirrels, birds and moles; huge dead limbs off our various trees; garden and other work gloves – she has a special fondness for leather – anything made of plastic, particularly old milk jugs; and snow boots and shoes left on the porch to dry. We just couldn’t give her a chance at our perfect pears!

I ran to the window, and threw up the sash. (Actually it was the door, and I opened it.)
There on the bench, what should appear?
But two Harry and David boxes,
And,thank God, there were no deer
(munching on our pears).

I tenderly lifted the boxes, and with great reverence, carried them to the kitchen and placed them on the table. I went to take my shower, the whole time drooling as I envisioned my first bite of the first perfect pear of the season. Should I enjoy it alone or with cottage cheese, or maybe a bit of both? How many pears would I share with Richard, and did the Christmas spirit dictate that I share them with anyone else? I could, virtually, taste those pears as I pulled on my t-shirt and headed to the kitchen.

As I entered the kitchen, there stood Richard with a box cutter in his hand, looking so forlorn. He began sadly shaking his head. “They’re not ripe.” He exclaimed. “They came packed with instructions for ripening them.” I carefully removed each pear and tested each as prescribed by the instructions. Not a ripe one in the bunch.

Richard says that pears have only a fifteen minute window between being so hard you can’t eat them and the time they turn to compost. We intend to keep watch over them until each one is ready, so as not to miss a morsel. We’re debating who will take first watch after midnight.

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