We will never collect enough berries for a pie, or even for a batch of muffins, because as soon as she spots any that are even close to ripe, Alice nabs them.
She pops strawberries into her mouth faster than we can rinse them.
Faster than we can pull the green tops off.
It’s one of the best things you could ever see. Juice drips down her shirt and all through her fingers, and she doesn’t care. She doesn’t stop. She reaches into the planter and pushes aside the leaves to find another and other until there aren’t any left.
Then she looks up and asks, “Other one strawberry?”
“Sorry, they’re all gone for now,” we tell her.
“Peas?” And we start twisting sugar snap pods off the vine.
The cherries ripened all at once. Birds carried away a handful of them, and the ones leftover would have filled a scant pint basket, I think.
Alice and I collected them in her sun hat, then brought them to the front yard where David was weeding. He and I ate four or so. All together.
Alice claimed the rest. As soon as she finished one, she ran over to me with another.
“Open it, please.”
I’d split the fruit with my fingers, pulled out the pit and hand it back to her.
We read books about gardens. And we are fortunate to have friends who can look at vines and branches and understand how they work.
Still, I am surprised that it works, that things grow.
Plants know what to do, I guess.