I'm not sure what happened - I'll let you decide.
Friday I brought in all but about seven or eight apples from the last tree. A few weren't ready yet, and the rest were too high for me to reach without a ladder. On Sunday, Mr. E took a few of the lower apples, found that the crows had got them, and tossed them into the horse pasture. He said there were still some left. Today I went out to cut some lettuces for dinner, and found a major branch broken, and all of the apples gone!
Now, if it were a rat, raccoon, or the like, there's no way they could've broken that branch. It looks as if someone really wanted those apples, smashing their way into the tree, or a young child climbed up to get at them.
What's disconcerting is that it the tree is way back in my back yard. Which abuts a horse pasture, which abuts another house. There are no roads anywhere nearby that someone could've been driving by and seen them. The only creatures back there at this time of year are horses. I feel like my privacy has been infringed upon.
The only thing I can think of is it was some of the construction crew working on the (illegal) building on the other side of the horse pasture, or the young kids living there. It's a 6,000 square foot mansion. You'd think they could afford apples for their kids.
I'm not so sad about losing the apples - after bringing in 121 pounds of them, I have enough. It's the broken branch and the fact that the person didn't ask. I would've given them the apples - without breaking the branch.