When I was a kid, our family had a sickle pear tree in the front yard. For a little tree, it put out a lot of fruit. Our neighbors would come over with shopping bags and fill them up to take home. I remember many a warm September day, passing by that tree and pulling 2 or 3 pears to eat on my way to a friend’s house. That little fruit tree served our family well.
When I had my own house and my own children, I didn’t think too much about fruit trees until one day, my son asked me to plant some in the yard. Money was pretty tight at the time, but I heard about a farmer who was selling fruit trees cheap. I went to his farm to take a look and, lo and behold, he had one little, sickle pear tree for $18 bucks. I bought it and we planted it on the side of the house. Well, the tree grew bigger and fuller each year, but it never had any pears! Each summer would come and pass with no pears. I finally gave up looking.
The fall my son, Ben, went to the Naval Academy, I was mowing the lawn on our riding mower. I approached the pear tree to mow around it, and suddenly noticed something I had never seen before - pears! How did it happen? It must be a miracle! To tell the truth, I know very little about plants and less about trees. I didn’t know that fruit trees have to cross pollinate to produce fruit. Yeah, I was sleeping in biology class. My poor, little, pear tree had never had a sweetheart! But, unbeknownst to me, my neighbor 3 houses down had planted a sickle pear tree in her yard that spring. Apparently that was close enough to start a romance. This year my tree has outdone itself in the fruit department. The pears are a good size and in a few weeks they’ll ripen. I’ll grab what I can and the deer can eat the rest that fall to the ground. I’ve never been disappointed in the sturdy sickle pear tree yet!
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