It was a warm spring afternoon when my seven year old son came into the kitchen where I was preparing lunch. He had that very pleased “Tom just ate Jerry” grin on his face, and his hands were behind his back. When I asked what he was hiding, he presented me with a very colorful bouquet of spring flowers. The stems were all uneven but he was very proud of his gift. I thanked him and gave him a kiss on the cheek, which he immediately wiped off, and went to look for a vase.
Later that afternoon I went to the mailbox. As I thumbed through the mail I noticed that I had gotten a piece of mail that belonged to my neighbor, Edna, across the street. I groaned because she was a busy-body and perpetually grumpy. Her house was a showplace with its perfectly manicured lawn and flower garden, and no self-respecting dog would even think of relieving himself on that lawn. Well, I decided to bite-the-bullet and take her mail over. I rang the doorbell and waited. No answer. Boy, did I luck out! I stuck the letter in her door and turned to leave. As I glanced at the garden, my vision did that zoom in, zoom out thing like they do in cartoons. My heart jumped straight into my throat and my legs got weak for there, right before my eyes, was Edna’s ruined garden. Flower stems looked like they had been chewed off and, to my horror; there were footprints in the dirt belonging to small sneakered feet.
As I looked at this floral violation, an agonizing scream exploded. I slammed my hand over my mouth, and then realized the scream was in my head. What was I going to do? When Edna came home and saw her garden, she would know, instinct would tell her and she would send the flying monkeys after my son. Looking to see if anyone was around, I bent down and brushed dirt over the footprints. I know the penalties for messing with a crime scene but that did not stop me from destroying the evidence. I’m going to jail.
If it were anyone else, I could tell them what happened, apologize and offer to pay for the damage but not with Edna. She would insist on locking him in the dungeon I’m sure she has in her basement, living only on bread and water. No, I’ll replace the flowers. She’ll never know.
I was pleased with the results of Edna’s replanted garden. I think it even looks better than it did before. I had no idea how this was going to come back and bite me later. To relax, I called a couple of the girl’s over for coffee and chit-chat. They thought the story of the flowers was hilarious. While we were laughing, the doorbell rang. I opened the door and who should be standing there but Edna. She pushed past me, sat down and poured herself some coffee. She had just gotten back from visiting her sister who lived in the neighboring city. Edna took a sip and as she put her cup down, she told a peculiar story. She had left early in the morning to avoid traffic. As always, she glanced at her yard as she backed out of the driveway. Everything was in order. Yet this evening when she came home, her flowers seemed as though they had doubled in size. Was it her imagination?
Not wanting to show my rising panic, I got up, excused myself and pretty much fled into the dining room where I grabbed the vase of Edna’s flowers off the dining room table. Suddenly I heard a quiet voice behind me asking if those were her flowers I had in my hand. I winced. Crap, I was busted! I slowly turned around and said, “Yes, Edna, my kid picked your spring flowers.”