Planted and tended and watered so well
our apricot tree grew sturdy and strong.
We fed it with plant food that gave off a smell.
With all our attention things couldn't go wrong.
When summer came round it was laden with fruit.
We bottled it, stewed it and made lots of jam,
sent visitors home laden richly with loot,
tried apricot recipes, some even with lamb.
Next summer again there was plenty, and more.
The birds took a few but we didn't begrudge
their feathered indulgence depleting our store.
We knew they were stealing, but tried not to judge.
Three seasons, and then with the lengthening day,
we prepared for the summer by placing a net
to keep bird marauders politely at bay.
The fruit sweetly ripened invitingly, yet...
before we could harvest each orangey treat
it was chewed on and eaten and left in a mess.
And yet we determined to not face defeat,
to somehow deter our mean source of distress.
Some shiny reflectors, a big plastic owl
did nothing to help drive the culprits away.
White strips of paper and torn bits of towel
were equally useless by night and by day.
Then a thump on our roof one dark summer night
told us another intruder had come.
Scurrying footsteps, the sound of a fight.
It was possums of course! We must have been dumb.
The possums were climbing our apricot tree,
slipping under the net for their nocturnal feast.
In the cover of darkness they felt fully free
to picnic at night, they cared not the least.
Too late we discovered the source of our loss.
They ravaged the booty and left the tree bare,
these cute-looking possums did not give a toss.
They scampered away not leaving much there.
Our whole summer bounty they'd stolen away,
leaving us fruitless, and angry to boot.
The destruction was clear in the light of the day.
This species protected, illegal to shoot...
illegal to poison or harm any way!
The possums were sleeping content and replete.
We couldn't deter and we couldn't repay,
revenge not an option and no fruit to eat.
When the leaves of our rhubarb were eaten one night,
although it's not really a thing that we'd say,
we hoped that those possums had taken the bite,
and the poison therein had sent them on their way.
In the dead of the night when we hear no more thumps,
and nothing gets eaten while we are asleep,
it may seem that we have at last come up trumps,
'til a new possum family moves in there to reap!
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