Penny can't believe her luck! One of the trees in our backyard has turned into a tennisball tree. The balls are a strange color, but she knows they come in different colors and textures, because she's a connoisseur. From the patio it's quite hard to get them, but there are lots to choose from.
If you go down the steps into the yard you can find any number that have been pecked by the birds and thrown on the ground.
They fit nicely in the mouth and they do roll if pushed with a paw.
The frustrating thing is that they must be magical disappearing tennisballs, because every time she looks away from her acquisition, it's as if someone had swooped down and taken it instantly. It must be her humans, but surely they wouldn't begrudge her a few.
And just this evening, when she went out to get another one - not to eat it, mind you, just to have it on her mat - nearly all of them were gone from the tree.
And a note from the humans:
It's our first good crop on this tree, which we've had all of Penny's life. We really wanted to wait till the plums (oops! balls...) ripened on the tree, but I guess it wasn't meant to be. We don't want to take the chance that she will eat them. We've read stories about the danger of those stones in the middle of the fruit. We left a few pecked ones on the tree and on the ground, because we like sharing with the birds - especially our tame female blackbird. I guess we'll have to watch Penny for a day or two.
As for the apricot crop, we think she only walked around with them in her mouth, and it was such a small crop that we were sure none were missing. Well...hopeful.
Next we have the apple tree to deal with. So far she hasn't shown any interest in the windfalls on the ground, thank goodness. Fingers crossed.
Here's a picture of the picked plums, not as ripe as we had hoped.