Lissa was sure the mice were eating the strawberries and, considering she had not evicted them from the garage immediately after finding them, she was slightly irritated.
“How could they?” she mumbled under her breath as she stomped out to the garage.
“We need to talk,” she said sternly.
“After all I have done for you three, how could you eat my strawberries!? I told you they were off limits!”
The mice looked at each other and then back up at Lissa.
“We don’t know what you are talking about. We haven’t touched them. We don’t even like strawberries.”
The mice shook their heads. They turned to each other and after a series of high pitched squeaks, turned back to Lissa.
“We have an idea,” said the leader, “you bake us one of those triple chocolate cakes and we will find out who is eating your strawberries. Deal?”
Lissa regarded them suspiciously. Maybe they were eating the strawberries just so they could weasel more food out of her.
The mice conferred again and then said, “If we don’t catch the culprit by the end of the week…we’ll leave.”
“Leave?” Lissa asked.
“Yep, we’ll pack up our tails and move on.”
“Alright,” she said. “It’s a deal.”
Once Lissa had gone back in the house, the mice got to work.
“Let’s see. What do we know about the strawberry patch?” said Pudgy, the fattest mouse.
“There are rose bushes near it,” said the tiniest mouse whose name was Pipsqueak.
“Something is eating it,” offered the third mouse, Gomer.
“Yes, thank you Gomer,” said Pudgy. “We can always count on you to point out the obvious.”
The three friends squeezed through the hole in the garage door and wandered over to the strawberry patch.
At first, they didn’t notice anything unusual. Then, out of nowhere, a black and yellow blur buzzed down and landed on one of the strawberry plants.
“You!” shouted Pudgy. “Stop eating the strawberries!”
The winged beast was in fact a bee. It buzzed around looking for a nice place to land and turned to look at the row of mice that so rudely squeaked at it.
“Silly mice,” it said, “I am not eating the strawberries. I am collecting nectar from the flower to take back to my Queen.”
Gomer stared blankly at the bee while Pudgy and Pipsqueak pondered what the bee had just said.
The bee sighed. “Look, I fly over here and grab some nectar from this male strawberry flower and some of the pollen from the flower sticks to my legs. Then, when I fly over to the female flower to get more nectar, I fertilize it with the pollen on my legs. I’m helping.”
Gomer still stared blankly as the bee went on about it’s business, but Pudgy and Pipsqueak were now nodding their heads in understanding.
This was going to be harder than they thought.
To be continued…