Normally, I wouldn't advocate stealing, especially from one's neighbor, but in some circumstances it might be more sinful not to. Here's the facts.
Northern folks transplanted to the south don't realize that Mother Nature provides southern gardeners with free mulch in the form of oak leaves. Last week I noticed my neighbor was raking and bagging his free gift from nature. Four large bags of clean oak leaves and dried grass clippings all neatly bundled and stacked at the back of their driveway. I knew those bags were headed for the dump. Every time I pulled out of my driveway I would covet those four bags of leaves. So finally, I couldn't take it any more. I knocked on their door to ask if I could have them. No one answered - darn it!
The next day was garbarge day and sure enough all four bags were at the curb in the morning. I didn't want to knock on their door or call them at 8 am, so I decided to take matters into my own hands. I just couldn't let that free gift go to the dump. I got my garden cart out and sheepishly crossed the street, all the while praying that no one would catch me stealing the neighbor's garden trash. It took four trips to get the leaves. Tucked safely out of view, I smiled within at the thought of my stolen loot as dreamy thoughts of thickly mulched, weedless flower beds floated through my mind.
I secretly confided my theft to a neighbor gardener and she proudly admitted that she drives her SUV through the neighborhood loading up all the leaves she can find. Perhaps next year I'll be more bold and hold my head high as I steal the neighbor's garden trash. So, to all the non-gardeners that toss their leaves into the trash - I thank you, my soil thanks you and my plants thank you!