Who stole my plums? That's what I'd like to know. And why didn't you just ask?
That's what people do - have a few manners. Open the gate, go to the door and knock.
"Hello there. I'm just passing and notice you have a lot of plums. I'm wondering if you'd mind me picking a few for my poor family. I'll make some jam/pickle and bring you a jar."
No - too easy. That didn't happen. Whoever nicked the whole tree full of ripe, juicy plums - in broad daylight I might add - did not bother to use their manners.
I say broad daylight for a couple of Sherlock Holmes-esk reasons. If the robbery took place under cover of darkness, firstly the porch light would have come on and secondly, they would have undoubtedly dropped a few and not been able to see them.
Hence when I noticed the naked tree, I would have also noticed a few fallen ones scattered on the ground. Perhaps the odd pip, or even the half-chewed remains of one.
But again, no, not one single plum, pip or piece of purple skin did I see. Every single plum vamoosed, along with the perp. Not a trace.
It's a mystery. I have plenty of questions, but not too many answers.
Firstly, of course, why? They weren't even the flashest of plums. A stray sapling type affair gifted to me by a kind person. That's what kind people do. They give - not take.
And how? For a starter, the gate squeaks. And it has a tricky mechanism to open it in the first place.
Did the container used for the collection offer a soft landing pad to negate the noise of the falling crop? Or did they know we were not home and helped themselves with gay abandon - the sound of plopping plums not a problem.
Or perhaps I have it all wrong. It was indeed a kind person, I may even know them.
Any day now they will come knocking at the door with a basket over their arm. With a red and white gingham cloth casually draping over the sides, jars with matching cloth lids rubber banded to the tops, insides bulging with delicious plum-related produce.
Yes, that's it. I'm still waiting.