One would not think that stealing cyclamen is common. It defies logic. Why steal something so beautiful and totally free to look at? Is it true that the temptation to steal a beautiful object is in some people very strong and so overpowering it overcomes their moral stance and honesty?
We woke up one morning and after a good coffee went outside. It is a rather nice exercise, and we often look for new buds or growth in the garden. Our garden at the front is small. Through the years, Helvi managed to make it a small piece of paradise. We also have a small white painted cane table outside under our two windows on which we had three beautiful cyclamen. One really deep red-purple, a pink and one glorious white one. All flowering profusely and some twenty centimetres is diameter each. They were resting on ceramic dishes from which they were free to quench a thirst. The plants themselves were also surrounded by ceramic bowls. All scrounged from second hand places. The bowls and saucers were somewhat rare and beautiful but not in a pretentious manner detracting from the beauty of the flowering plants, they always would have first ranking.
Note how I wrote ‘had’ three cyclamen. As we looked around, and as it was raining, Helvi asked me if I had put the cyclamen in the rain. We both looked at the cane table and all was gone. It seemed empty. No matter how hard we looked, they did not return. We were stunned. How could this be. We looked in the bins next to the garage. As if they would re-appear, and after apologizing, somehow get back on the white painted cane table.
Both of us felt almost sick. They had been stolen. Unbelievable. Who would go and steal flowering plants? I mean, we could understand vandals stealing and throwing them about. We walked around the block of our eight town-houses in the hope of finding them alive and intact. No. Our sadness turned into anger. Who would do such a thing? As I was casting around again and looking opposite to the garden of our neighbour I notice that her ceramic angel’s head was gone as well. The three cyclamen and an angel head in one hit would not have been the work of school kids or any young person. It would have to be the work of an adult. Did the thief drive by and loaded up his/her car? The neighbour opposite told us that the Angel head was a gift from her mother twenty years ago.
After overcoming our sadness including dejection we decided to take action. We went to the local police station. After a few questions the police woman was going to write a rapport. I showed proof of identity, and supplied all the information regarding size, colour and details about the plants and the ceramic items, including their monetary value. We ensured to the police, it was the horror of the theft more than the value. She was understanding and fully understood.
As we got back I printed five posters;
“Thief Alert.” “You have been reported to the police”. “Please, return the items.”
All in very large lettering. I stapled the notices around our compound with one at the front on the street near the letterboxes. I felt good having done this plea to the thief’s conscience. But… much to my surprise, I was angrily reprimanded by one of our less convivial neighbour last evening. She bailed me up driving to the shop to get a bottle of well-earned good Shiraz. All red in the face, she was. “Why do you put those posters up?” This was followed by, ” I am a single woman and live alone with my children.” “I know delinquents, and you are inviting them with your silly posters.” I was listening and gave her the time to vent her anger, but at the same time felt a reasonable response welling up. “Yes, I said, but what about the theft of our plants and your neighbours’ Angel head?” “What do you want to do about it then?” She dismissed it totally and ripped off one of my posters.
The question is; what do you, dear readers think the right action would be? Just cop it sweet, do nothing? Or, should I proceed in stapling up more posters on fences , telegraph poles around the place? Warn others and try and get our cyclamen back.
Even now thinking of making posters offering “Reward for stolen Cyclamen and Angel’s head.”
What do you think?