When we bought our plants and topsoil and peat at Paul’s Discount Store, Steve suggested that we pick up a roll of pliable nylon netting to use as a barrier to rabbits and other critters who might devour our vegetables before they’re ready for harvest.
The next night, after placing stakes at each corner of the plot and along the sides, I held the netting in place while Steve attached it with twist ties. As it turned out, the roll of netting only lasted until the fourth stake.
After Steve finished muttering choice words to himself, I suggested that we just leave it alone and deal with it later.
When I came home from swimming after work on Tuesday night after we put in the garden, the nylon netting was gone, and a roll of chicken wire had appeared on the chair by our front door. While I talked to my parents on the phone, I peered out the kitchen window toward the garden, where Steve was fiddling with the chicken wire.
It looked like he was laying it down over the plants, which didn’t seem odd to me. We’d had a conversation about possibly laying the wire down over the garden, and cutting holes in it so the plants could grow up. The theory, he said, was that the wire would keep animals from digging down to the roots of the plants.
I turned away from the window and back to the cooking, and before I had a chance to look back out there, it had gotten dark and he was back in the house.
“What did you do with the wire?” I asked when I got off the phone. “Did you just lay it down like we talked about?”
The look that generally precedes choice words reappeared on his face. “No, I did not,” he said.
“Then what did you do?”
“I have to take it back,” he replied sadly. “I tried to wrap it around the stakes, but it wasn’t long enough.”
That’s OK. From what I’ve heard, it’s also amazing what a rabbit or a squirrel or a deer will do for a good tomato. Fence or no fence, we’ll be lucky to escape some sort of fauna assault.