"Look at this Globbuster!" Little David Orchard held a sizeable, bright red strawberry two inches from my nose. This made it difficult to see, but I agreed with him, anyway.
"Wow!" I exclaimed. "That is huge!"
Pleased with this reply, David dropped the berry into my orange bucket.
Across from me, Kate Orchard chuckled at her little brother. She and I sat on opposite sides of the long row, crouching or kneeling in odd positions on the hay that covered the damp ground between the rows in the strawberry patch. The sun shone over us and highlighted the winks of red amidst the tangles of leaves and stems. I rustled through the strawberry plants to grab them, inspecting the berries with my fingers to ensure they were perfect before dropping them in my bucket. Only the best went to the customers.
"Another one!" Further down the row, David exclaimed again.
Kate smiled and shook her head as David rushed up again to display his prize. It was indeed an impressively sized strawberry.
"This one is a real Globbuster." He informed me. "Do you know who came up with that name?"
I feigned ignorance. "No, who?"
"Guess." He insisted.
"Hm." I frowned in thought. "Was it.... Kate?"
David's eyes widened in surprise. "Wow, you're a good guesser!" Then off he ran again.
Kate and I exchanged a glance. Her blue eyes sparkled with laughter, and I grinned.
A few more handfuls of berries, and my little orange bucket was full. Kate had the big green bucket on her side, so I unfolded myself like an accordion as I stood, letting my muscles stretch out after having been hunched over the ground for the past fifteen minutes.
It was a strawberry day. With the threat of wet weather in the next few days, the berries had to be gotten off the ground and into quarts, or they would be washed away like last year. So everyone was out here today.
One row over, Jonny and Seph laughed loudly as they picked together. Sarah picked a couple rows over on the other side of us, and Dana frowned over his row at the bottom of the patch, rifling through the leaves in search of hidden berries.
It was sort of like treasure hunting, I thought. Searching long and hard in the hot sun for every ripe ruby and stashing them away in buckets to be carried inside, sorted, and then stored in the vault like cooler in the barn.
Sneaking a berry as I passed my bucket to Kate, I chomped on it and let the sun-warmed flavor flood my mouth. I very much liked this kind of treasure hunting.