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Crimson and scarlet fruits decorated with little cream-coloured seeds beckon from the clear plastic container in my refrigerator. I'm saving them for later today, when I have visitors. *Eat us!* they practically scream. No. I will not eat the strawberries. Slowly, my resolve dissolves. I crack open the little box and pull out a single red berry. I place it in my mouth and chew, the sweetness enveloping my tongue. Grabbing another, I consume them without abandon until there are none but the mushy, rotten, bottom-of-the-box inedible ones. Rats. I'll have to go buy another box.
In the barely there light of morning the strawberries are already scarlet. Somehow they take these feeble rays and still manage to shine on their subdued bed of straw. Ahead of me Kelsey wobbles in her wellingtons two sizes too big and the smell of the earth is infused into the dew laden air. I stop to pluck a strawberry so perfect that it belongs more on the cover of some fancy food magazine than in my field and call to my little Miss K, the only princess in the world to me, "Hey, want some breakfast now?"
The strawberry is small but perfectly red, like the ones I remember all those years ago in the farm store. It bares little resemblance to the white-topped monsters in the supermarkets, large with such a diffuse flavour and barely-there sweetness. This little fruit-royalty wears a jagged crown of deep green like summer foliage and it smells like heaven in my palm.