At our old house, there was a tree in our backyard. A huge, old, majestic tree that was probably older than most of the people in our neighborhood (quite an accomplishment considering the majority of our neighbors were of the geriatric persuasion).
It was lovely to look at, really. But there was one aspect of this tree that became the bane of my existence.
Yes, I know you thought that mulberries came on a bush, but these, in fact, came from a tree. A tree nestled on the property line separating our yard from our neighbor’s. The actual tree was on their yard, but the majority of the branches hovered over *our* yard. A tree that SHOWERED mulberries onto our grass nonstop from May to August.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: how bad could it be? They’re berries! Who doesn’t like berries?
But here’s the thing. The birds around our house ate the berries. And our dogs stepped on the berries. So we had purple bird poop and purple puppy paw prints all over our deck. To the point where we had to paint the deck. Twice. And let’s not talk about how we had to wipe the dogs’ feet whenever they came in the house. Actually, let’s talk about that: WE HAD TO WIPE THE DOGS’ FEET WHENEVER THEY CAME IN THE HOUSE. Have you ever tried to wipe the feet of a 60 lb. hound dog who thinks any physical contact from a person means you want to wrestle? It’s hard.
Anyway, after much berry woe, a magical thing happened: our neighbors finally decided to cut down the tree. This in itself was a huge process because the branches of the tree were wrapped around the power/phone lines, leading to our house but the tree was on our property so we had to make numerous phone calls to the City to give our permission to cut off our power so they could cut the tree down. For those of you who live in Richmond, you understand how soul-crushingly complicated that was. BUT! Eventually the tree came down. We had sun in our yard! Our dogs’ feet weren’t purple! The birds’ poop was a harmless, non-staining white! Huzzah!
And then we moved at the end of August last year. Typically the time when mulberry trees have stopped showering their fruits as far as the eye can see.
We had no idea.
Last week, Ross slowly walked into the kitchen through the back door, looking defeated. I asked him what was wrong.
“That tree out there? Over by the fence? I found this underneath it.”
He held out his hand, and what was nestled in his palm? Oh but a dark purple, holy effing hell kill me, mulberry.