Dear Annie: I never thought that I would find myself writing to you, but I need advice on how to handle a situation with my neighbors’ 10-year-old son.
“Sam” comes into my yard, uninvited, at all hours of the day and night. He has not only climbed my apple trees and loaded his pockets with fruit but also stripped my tomato plants bare, trampled my potato vines and knocked the stuffing out of my scarecrow. On one occasion, I even found him doing his “business” on my begonias! Annie, I was so horrified that I couldn’t even speak. When his mother returned home from her yoga class that afternoon, I went over to talk with her. “Boys will be boys!” was about her only response. She also said, “The nanny is supposed to supervise him when he goes out.”
I would put up a fence, but my town’s zoning ordinances won’t allow it. The rest of the neighbors are up in arms about this kid, as well. With gardening season starting again, I am worried that there will be a repeat performance of last year’s reign of terror. My garden is my pride and joy, but with Sam on the prowl, not even a scarecrow is safe out there anymore. What can I do?
— Ready to Throw in the Trowel