My family mocked me when I put out four metal mixing bowls full of water along the wooden ledge where the tomatoes grow to deter rodents. My husband gloated when he caught a large black rat in his trap. "Rat traps are the only way to go" he said. He told me my water bowls were a waste of time. The children rolled their eyes when they overheard me telling my friends about my fiendish plan. "Aha, water torture, I see" said my friends, as if I were a slightly dim but enthusiastic child.
But, after a half hour stand-off with the dalmatian I have witnesed, with my own eyes, as I lay hear under this olive tree, trying in vain to fall asleep, a squirrel leaping from the acacia tree towards a large ripe red heirloom tomato and falling straight into a bowl of water. Embarrassed, he shook himself off, flipped his tail petulantly and jumped straight back onto his branch.