Having a mango tree is kind of like owning chickens, or laying hens in particular. Every morning during mango season I stroll around my yard in the general area of my mango tree looking for the ripe fruit that will have fallen. I like to imagine that I’m looking for the eggs that have been laid overnight. I search inside plants, behind tree trunks, under bushes. It’s the lucky ones (for me at least) that have a soft landing, preferably in the grass or nestled gently in an astilbe plant. The unlucky ones have a hard fall onto the sidewalk or the asphalt street and crack open enough that the bugs immediately invade. The worst culprits though are the South Florida gardener’s nemesis– the rat. Okay we have rats here. Lots of them. If you don’t believe me just walk around at night and look at the overhead wires, watch under the bushes as they dash around. I hate them and fight them but they are a never-ending issue here in South Florida with so much fruit, so much water. Everything thrives, everyone loves South Florida (except for Lebron James but I’m getting over that…). It is frustrating to pick up a beautifully huge, ripe mango only to find the rats have beaten me to it gnawing a hole in the soft flesh. I even find myself debating, “Well it’s only a little rat hole. I can cut around it….this other side is untouched….” Then I picture the rat gnawing and crawling over the fruit, and I look at the pile of un-gnawed mangoes in my refrigerator and think, “Okay just let this one go. I don’t need to eat the same mango as the rat.” The mango season is a good one this year and if I have to split my mangoes 50/50 with the rats I’m okay with that because tomorrow there will be a few more mango eggs laid in my garden.