Cup of icy lemonade in hand, I stopped in the living room for a perusal of the front garden on the way back to work at my computer. There was a woman and a little boy staring at the flowers in the garden.
This happens a lot. No worries. The gardens are lovely.
So I stand there, sipping my lemony goodness, and watch them pointing and chatting about this flower and that flower.
... they begin to pick the flowers. Not just one or two - that is forgivable - but great handfuls of all my flowers!
I plunked down my lemonade, ran for the key, whipped open the door, and burst out onto the porch, eyes a-flame.
"What are you doing?" I yell.
"Picking flowers," the woman says.
"You can't just pick flowers out of my garden," I shout.
"Is this your garden?" she asks.
"It's in front of my house, isn't it?" I snap.
"Oh, we thought it was one of those pick-your-own places," she simpers.
"What? Are you kidding me?" I say. (It's a small yard in front of an obvious house on a street lined with similar small yards and houses.)
She frowns and shrugs. Her little boy is staring back and forth between us.
I walk over to where they are (she pulls her boy almost behind her, like I'll swoop down and eat him up) and hold my hand out. "My flowers," I snap.
"You want them now?" she asks, looking dumbfounded.
"I planted them," I say. "Of course I want them."
She hands over the flowers and, as I stand there with my hand out, she takes the flowers from her kid and hands them over to me. She is starting to glare.
I bend down to the boy (he was maybe 6 or 7) and hand him three of the biggest, nicest flowers. "It's never okay to steal things out of people's yards, hon," I say with a smile. "If you had asked nicely, I would've let you pick a few flowers, but you can't take without asking. That's stealing, and stealing is wrong."
The women goes all indignant and grabs her sons hand and pulls him away.
I retreat inside my house and put my flowers in vases.