In Bed With Sarah Shields

Morning fig:

I saw it once. A large rat, chillin’ in my fig tree. Now I should clarify that I rent the fig tree from my landlord, so it isn’t mine, in fact. But I pretend it is. If you sit next to me on the gray quilt here, you’ll see it too. Just across from my bed, out of the large window. There’s the tree. See it? It’s ancient. And we are having quite a harvest this season. Plenty of figs to go ‘round! Fig salad, fig soup, fig tarts, fig margaritas, fig pizza…oh, the possibilities of culinary magic! But I’m not the only creature fond of figs. If you listen, you can hear the figeaters and see their metallic green beetle armor. One clunks into the window and buzzes off. A group of three or four of them are clustered to a gouged-out fig still attached to its mother tree, the beetles stuffing themselves with its jammy, seedy innards. But the rat. Oh yes! Fuzzy and plump, quizzical eyes, twitchy nose and whiskers—I loved him at once and wanted to bring him inside. But by the time I’d left my bedroom and stepped out into the garden, the rat was gone.

Submit a comment