Springtime Cone


… in the San Fernando Valley. More of interest than the traffic cone is the gorgeous navel orange tree behind it. There are many, many citrus trees in the Valley, and plenty of varieties. We have two lemon trees that are year-round (something I wasn’t aware of, year-round fruit).
The other day I was walking by the aforementioned navel orange tree and there was an old man with a picker, selecting some of the fruit and putting it in a basket. I said hello.
“You know,” he replied in a gruff tone, “people think this tree is not my property and that it is city property, but that is not true. This is my property, and I also own this tree.”
I nodded.
“Everybody thinks this tree is public property and they come and steal my fruit. It’s my fruit! One day a truck pulled up with a bunch of people and they took all the fruit. That’s a crime!”
I peered up to the very top of the tree. There were scores of ripe oranges that had been there for weeks. He certainly wasn’t reaching them with his pole.
“You want one?” he gestured to the basket.
“Ah, no thanks,” I said. “I have a few fruit trees at home.”
“Take one,” he insisted, so I took one and ate it on the way home.
It was fantastic.

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