I walk out to water my tomatoes in their topsy turvy bags and discover my almost ripe big beautiful tomato missing. Then I spot it. Its been plucked by animal and gnawed on! I waited several weeks for that tomato to get ripe. Darn. I pick the other nearly ripe ones hanging close to the ground, so they can ripen in safety in the house. I gaze at the gnaw marks and wonder if its a raccoon or possum. Both these varmits roam the neighborhood.
The next day, I bring my little video camera outside to take pictures of my perfect jalapenos. The tomato is half gnawed at this point. Some animal really likes that not quite ripe tomato. I begin my video of the jalapenos closest to the tree trunk. The jalapenos are in a multi-hole bag with strawberry plants. As I step to the east to get video of my jalapenos hanging over the grass, an object appears in my peripheral vision near my foot. I look down. Its a dead rat! I scream and do the dead rat dance, that horrified mincing step. My tomato is rat gnawed! All the fuss attracts JJ’s attention and he tentatively approaches for a closer look at the corpse. I wave him away so I will not get any dead rat spiked dog kisses.
I gather my wits and sigh. Jack would tell me to dump the body in the yard waste bin. I imagine the stench and opt for burial. Digging the hole takes twice as long as planned due to tree roots. I gingerly pick up the stiff body with a shovel and dump it in the hole along with the half eaten tomato.
Are tomatoes bad for rats? The body and half eaten fruit are only 8 feet apart. Is it a coincidence? Could my tomato really be the killer or just the last dessert of a poisoned rat?