Bertie Baggins is cunning.
Bertie Baggins has stealth.
Bertie Baggins is a naughty, cunning, stealthy apple thief. Who plucks them out of the tree, twisting and breaking its branches. Not for him the patient wait for them to ripen and tumble at his feet.
I want my apples for crumble. Not licked. Not pre-chewed. And definitely not distributed across the garden in pre-digested heaps.
Thus fences have been built, repaired and built again.
My first attempt at an apple-tree fence - temporary, so that he who bothers about the neatness of the parched grass can remove it, thereby enabling the trimming of any vegetation still clinging to a life-without-water - failed. Bertie Baggins nonchalantly stepped through it. Equally nonchalantly ripped an apple off the tree. And nonchalantly lay down to eat it. Knowing that he had just enough time to savour its bitter, crunchy, un-ripe flesh before I noticed, sprinted out of the kitchen and grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and marched him first one way then another as I wondered how to get him out. Great fun. If you're a dog. Exasperating if you have two legs and can think of better things to do. And if you are a young labrador and driven by the rumbles in your tummy it's a game to be repeated many times a day. Many times an hour if you can get away with it.
|Bertie Baggins: apple thief|
So ... apple-fence number two. More string. Vertical strings to make the gaps smaller. And CDs to flash sunlight in doggy eyes, spin around worryingly and clank a bit.
|Four-legged-friend: retired thief|
The bets are on: I give Bertie Baggins half an hour ...