On the outskirts of our small town is a beautiful corn field. I'm talking, Field of Dreams beautiful.
The stalks are currently taller than I am and you can almost smell the golden ears of sweet maize as you drive by. The prairie wind catches the entire field and the stalks sway in balletic unison, beckoning innocent passers-by to stop and sample the 7000-year old crop.
No one is around. I stop to "admire the view." Easy pickin's, so to speak.
But I fight the urge to commit vegetable vandalism and get on my way.
Just a few miles away from the corn field is an expansive melon patch, that spreads out in all directions. The fruit is at it's vine ripened peak this time of the year. Watermelons, cantalopes and honeydews blanket the red soil, tempting pickers with their sweet juice and fleshy goodness.
No one is around. Same deal as the corn. Easy, easy pickin's. But I again fight the urge to commit botany burglary and leave the melons in peace.
Recently, multitudes of Pickup trucks are popping up all over town with their beds full of luscious melons and bushels of sweet corn. Home spun cardboard signs testifying to their ripeness and inexpensive prices.
I stop at a black pickup, pick out a melon or two and pay for them, my conscious free of guilt and my mind unemcumbered by the thoughts of vegetable thievery.
I stop at a red pickup, fill a grocery sack full of field fresh corn and hand over some small bills. As I'm leaving I overhear the owner of the pickup telling an acquaintance where he got his corn from.
Yep, the same field I had been admiring.
Come to think of it, the melons I bought look awfully familiar as well.
What is the penalty for buying pilfered produce from the back of a pickup truck on a county road?