I became really angry, imagining what I would have done if I had come across someone looting my tree and abusing the fruit.
I went inside the house and Nikki told me that she had thought she had heard someone out there.
I became even angrier.
As I laid in bed that night, my mind full of buckshot blasts, I remembered St. Augustine and his pear tree.
In his Confession, Augustine wrote:
There was a pear tree close to our own vineyard, heavily laden with fruit, which was not tempting either for its color or for its flavor. Late one night--having prolonged our games in the streets until then, as our bad habit was--a group of young scoundrels, and I among them, went to shake and rob this tree. We carried off a huge load of pears, not to eat ourselves, but to dump out to the hogs, after barely tasting some of them ourselves. Doing this pleased us all the more because it was forbidden. Such was my heart, O God, such was my heart--which thou didst pity even in that bottomless pit. Behold, now let my heart confess to thee what it was seeking there, when I was being gratuitously wanton, having no inducement to evil but the evil itself. It was foul, and I loved it. I loved my own undoing. I loved my error--not that for which I erred but the error itself. A depraved soul, falling away from security in thee to destruction in itself, seeking nothing from the shameful deed but shame itself.
Upon remembering that I, myself, am a would be stealer of pears, I felt a lot better and stopped worrying about shooting the poor thief. Let him have his vices. And my satsumas.