So first they run over it with their car. Spanish neighbors, black car, small driveway, tomato plant on the back sidewalk--you do the math. It was a gruesome sight: the poor plant was bent completely in half, its stake snapped and half of the soil spilt all over the ground. What's more, the plastic pot was completely cracked.
You'd think that would be enough for them. But no, they're not satisfied until the thing is completely stripped bare. Somehow, despite my blue, pink, and purple thumbs (read: not green), I managed to nurse the thing back to some state of plant-type existence. I lodged what was left of the stake into what little soil I could salvage, tied it up with some spare shoelaces, and put it protectively further behind the garage-shed that sits behind our apartment. Some of its leaves turned yellow and started curling in on themselves. Many of these turned brown and brittle. But this trooper plant prevailed, because although its stem was literally torn to shreds, it bore three or four tiny little yellow flowers--potential tomatoes!
And, in fact, one little flower grew to be a big, red, ripe tomato. Just yesterday, when I checked on my plant, I thought to myself, "I will give that tomato just one or two more days to fully mature. It deserves that, having persevered so long." So I went to bed, happily dreaming of the many ways I would enjoy that first (and perhaps only) tomato.
Today, upon arriving home from work, I decided I would check on the progress of my dreamy tomato. I felt certain that after such a hot day, surely a little water would help to plump the thing up and make the plant happy, so I took my water bottle and trekked out behind the house to see how things stood. Well, I found the plant standing, but something was very obviously missing. My tomato was gone!
Not a shred of foul play remained: not a drop of tomato juice, a sliver of red skin, nothing. The tomato had, without a doubt, been plucked from its vine and whisked away, and is likely now the prisoner of some jealous, evil, tomato-coveting fiend. I am very saddened by this event, but one thing is for sure: next summer, I am planting all my vegetables in the front yard. It'll be a bit more obvious when they have to hop our little front-lawn fence to get at my tomatoes then!