Monday, July 04, 2005


Brooklyn Bridge Park (I)

The tree, of which you see a small part, is a mulberry tree. It was heavy with ripe fruit which people were casually picking and eating. A woman, late 20's, was sitting near the tree with her parents. Later, when it was less crowded in the park, they walked over to the tree with a large tarp. The parents held the tarp open, and the woman shook the limbs of the tree so that hundreds of mulberries fell; they then would pour the mulberries into a large plastic bucket. I stared, finding it hard to believe that they could be so crass. Three little kids walked over, an the lady handed them a few mulberries to eat. Finally I couldn't stand it any longer. I walked over and I said "wouldn't it be a good idea to save some for other people?" The woman looked at me, seemingly confused. Her parents asked her something in another language which I could not hear well enough to recognize. They consulted with each other, and then they gathered up their stuff and walked away. As I was walking back to my spot, another woman, who had gathered a modest number of mulberries, said "they're mulberries. They're really good." I said "I can't believe that they were taking so many." She said "they're for everybody, right?" I said "exactly. Everybody should be able to have some." She smiled and ate a few.

Maybe I was meddling in something that was not my business. But I wondered how they could assume that they could rightfully harvest all the mulberries from the single mulberry tree in the park. I hate to get all righteous (as my brother would say) but it shows a lack of consciousness and conscience, to do what they did. And besides, the mulberries are great. Everyone should get some. When I was a kid they grew at the farm where we kept our horses, and I would ride under the tree and pick them while sitting up high perched on my horse (my high horse, maybe the same one I was riding when I reprimanded the mulberry poachers).

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