Petty Larceny

I've been keeping my eyes open lately, looking for apple trees in people's yards (I've posted before about my love of fruit trees). This even helped motivate me to go canvass for Obama, which I did twice, because I thought I might come across a good tree in an unfamiliar neighborhood, although unfortunately I didn't find any. And then, of course, after getting slightly frustrated, I finally notice a laden, blowsy tree right on the street where my studio is. And while checking it out, I see something I covet. At the bottom of the tree, mere feet from the ground, a stubby little leafless branch protrudes. Curving gracefully off that stub down to the grass, like a fishing line to the water, is a whip-thin shoot, also leafless, and bearing a perfect catch - a mythologically resonant triad of apples. I wanted this little branch, very badly. But as things happen, I had had an awkward interaction with the guy who lives there only a week or so before. There was an adorable orange kitten hanging out on the sidewalk in front of the house with its friendly gray mother. I thought maybe they were strays (because who lets their sweet, vulnerable kitten out on the street?!), and on my way home from the studio I stopped by the house to ask if they lived there. Well, it turns out they do. And the guy wasn't very pleased with me. So knocking on his door to ask if I could cut a branch off his apple tree didn't seem like an option. It would have to be done by stealth.

However, polite, law-abiding individual that I am, the thought of stealing made my heart race a little. I cased the joint shortly after sunset, but was foiled by passersby, and some guys hanging out on their porch across the street. So, figuring that pre-dawn on a weekend would be the quietest time for a spot of petty larceny, I got up at 6am on Saturday morning to do the deed. To fully live out the cliche of the cat-burglar, I actually did put on all black clothes & my leather jacket, and brought 2 pairs of scissors with me, in case one of them wasn't up to the job. In the end, it was a non-event. The street was deserted, the first glimmers of dawn streaking the sky. And it took all of 8 seconds to kneel on the grass and snip the branch, then hastily glide away, trophy in hand, heart pounding with triumph.

Isn't it lovely?


I don't have exactly the right size canvas for it yet, so I'm keeping it in my mini-fridge till I can get one prepared.