Strawberry feast!

The gazebo had decided to try to climb the fence! It was 47 degrees in the shade. The bushfires that were blasting across Victoria did not directly affect us here, but the weather certainly did! The wind that had caused the gazebo to try to climb the fence was searing hot and gusting strongly as Luke and I took the gazebo down. The garden furniture was all askew and the strawberry plant in its wooden planter box was squashed by the gazebo and almost falling on to the ground. That strawberry plant had been given to Trudi by Chris, our eldest son, and she was proud of it. The two big succulent strawberries that were ripening into a deeper red were still there and only seemed enhanced by the heat. Trudi came out and took the box and the strawberries and put them on the stone garden edge in the shade of the jacaranda tree. Just as soon as it was secure we all went back inside to the coolness of the house with its air conditioner.

* * * * * *

“Wilbur! Wilbur! Will you look at that! Just have a look!”

“What? What is it? I can’t see … what are you looking at?”

“Just over there, you ninny! Just near the garden over there. Can’t you see them just hanging down? Those red things that we wanted to get yesterday but they were up too high. They’re right down low now. We could easily reach them just standing on the grass. And they look so juicy. And I so need something sweet and juicy after that hot today. Phew it was hot! It’s never been that bad before. I just couldn’t sleep all day!”

“But we can’t go onto that grass! Don’t you remember? That’s where that terrible cat lives. The one that has killed possums before.”

“Ooh yes! I saw that big grey and white cat today. Just before they took him inside. He’s big and scary!”

“No, not him! He’s fat and lazy. The one that has killed a possum before is the old one, the female. She’s old but she’s tricky, and I saw her kill a possum! I saw it myself. I told him not to go in there because the cat and he went anyway and she killed him and I don’t dare to go down there now!”

“Well I’m going anyway. Don’t be a wuss! Those red things look so sweet and juicy I’m going to get them. Anyway, I reckon they’ve got that cat inside and it can’t get to us even if its awake. I’m going down to try them.”

“Careful Sam! That cat, its only small but it can kill .. Samantha, don’t go …!”

“Wilbur, these are so sweet! You should try them. Come down and try them.”

“But the cat, Sam! Oh all right, let me try! Ooh yeah they’re all right too. Ohh, after such a hot day this is beautiful! … what’s up Sam. I haven’t finished …”

“Listen Wilbur! What’s that sound? It’s the cat Wilbur, it’s the cat! I’m going up the tree. That cat killed a possum Wilbur and I don’t want it to kill me!”

“But Samantha, I haven’t finished … its so juicy …”

“It’s the cat, Wilbur, and I’m going!”

* * * * * *

Isn’t it nice that its cooler today? But lets go and get in the wash before we go to get ready for church.

All right. Are you going to fold every bit of wash as you put it into the basket?

No, only the small stuff.

There, its done. Nice to sit here in the cool morning. But wasn’t yesterday hot? They reckon it was 47.9 at Avalon yesterday and 47.4 in Geelong! That’s the hottest its ever been around here. I read on the news on the internet that there have been some people killed …

OHH! Look over there! They’re gone. My lovely strawberries! Some critter has eaten them in the night and there’s only a little bit left.

Trudi went to pick the remains of her beautiful strawberries and held them out for me to smell. They had the real strawberry smell, the smell of fruit that has ripened on the plant.

“Just smell that, she said. Then her face lit up “I’ll bet they enjoyed it!”

“Enjoyed what?”

“Just imagine the feast they had after that hot day yesterday! Just imagine the enjoyment they would have had getting stuck into these juicy strawberries.”

“And where was the cat when we needed her?” I said.

© Copyright Willem Schultink