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Location: marengo, il, United States

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

HALF-RIPE TOMATOES

Bon Adventure has a thing about neatness. He is not all that organized but he does try to keep order.

Trixie collects things. That is to say, she seldom throws anything of value away. A trip to the market adds to her fast-growing collection of flimsy plastic bags. Those she stuffs inside one of the lower kitchen cabinets. Her bread ties are kept next to wherever she opens a loaf of bread. Price tags from new clothes, receipts from the local video store or library, unopened junk mail and blue snap-off rings that secure blue lids to plastic milk jugs are all designated as important things to be saved.

So Bon Adventure keeps himself busy making countless trips to the trash can.

While passing through the kitchen, his eagle-eye spots seven almost-ripe tomatoes arranged in a neat row, displayed on an empty counter. He asks Trixie where she got them. They have an appealing look about them, and the man and his appetite are immediately drawn to the lot. But Trixie denies any knowledge of the fresh fruit, so David is brought in to testify.

“I found them.”

“You found them? Where did you find tomatoes?”

He motions toward the south with his head.

“Out there.”

“Out there where, David?”

Bon Adventure picks up a few and examines them. Each one smell wonderfully tempting, but he sets them back down carefully.

“Over there.”

“Okay, David. You better tell me right now where you got these.”

The boy's eyes read honestly to his father's.

“I picked them, dad.”

“I figured that, son. Now where did you pick them?”

Again he nods to the vague south.

“There were lots of them too.” He volunteers.

Bon Adventure and Trixie both trade looks. David and the seven tomatoes all retain an expectant look of innocence during the exchange.

“Hon, you take those tomatoes and put them in one of your plastic bags. Then you take David to whatever house he got those from, and you ring the doorbell. Then stand back and allow him to confess stealing the delicious things. And then wait until he apologizes before you both come home.”

The fruit go in a bag. Mother and son leave. In less than ten minutes all four things return home.

“That was the sweetest lady. And she was both amazed and surprised.”

David nods happily.

“That he apologized?”

“No, that he was even able to find ripe tomatoes. She and her husband have both been keeping a close eye on several vines for weeks now, so she said she was impressed that David found any.”

Trixie takes the near-ripe fruit from the bag, and she places them in a neat row back on top of the counter.

“Oh, and she told David he could keep these for being so honest.”

2 Comments:

Blogger Gone Away said...

Nice :)

12:25 PM  
Blogger Harry said...

Drat. Caught me editing the thing, again. Now I am finally done with that one. For today, at least.

12:32 PM  

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