The last bag of leaves

It may be different in your neck of the woods, but here it was the weekend when the last leaf fell from the maple tree. There was nore putting off a final raking and bagging with the excuse that leaves were still to come. Just so many could be swept under the rug, so to speak, around the roots of shrubs. Just so many could be imposed on the compost. The city was probably not going to do another vacuuming of the streets.

Nothing was left but to get out there and bag, bag, bag.

A bagger's mixed emotions about this task are even more mixed this year in the knowledge that the bagging is really being done for the unofficial leaf collectors. They are swifter than the official trash trucks. Four bags full disappeared on Thanksgiving Day. According to the papers, the leaves are picked up -- stolen seems too strong a word since they are out there to be taken away -- as handy prebagged mulch.

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There's the rub. Shouldn't it be like those apple orchards where you can eat all you can pick or something like that? Shouldn't the householder put out a sign saying: "Free leaves! You can have all you can rake!"

Must he continue providing a bagging service for unknown scavengers (two elderly women, accordint to the intelligence in one neighborhood we know)? Maybe he should use the neatly packaged leaves himself. But then why would he bag them in the first place.?

It's too deep for us -- as were the leaves until last weekend.

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