To confront neighbour?

(47 Posts)
VicWillia Tue 19-Apr-16 17:05:52

Really don't know what to do for the best!

We've lived in our house for 6 weeks. The neighbour on one side is a lady, maybe a single mum as I haven't seen a man at all. She has 2 dds, one is about 5, I'd say the others 2.

She seems nice enough. I've taken in a couple of packages for her and thought she seems fine.

The other day, I bought a couple of butterfly ornaments for the garden. Only silly, cheap things.

Today I went out there and they were gone. Her dds were in their garden and they came over to say hi to me. The older one said look at our new butterflies! I looked and there were my butterflies, in next doors garden. I asked the girl where she got them and she said "I found them in my garden"

Now I don't know what to do. I don't care about the butterflies, they were silly cheap things. I do care though that my neighbour must've climbed over my fence to steal them.

Theres a high trellis between our garden but there's a crumbling wall at the back which someone could quite easily climb over.

I really, really don't want to create a bad relationship with this neighbour. We were forced from our last home by a neighbour who had all night parties 5 times a week and almost caused me to have a breakdown. Should I just let it go?

littlewoollypervert Tue 19-Apr-16 17:08:28

I would take them back in the night, put them inside my house, and never leave anything portable in the garden again (but I'm a wuss)

Is there any chance though that one of her children took them and is pretending they just "found" them in the garden.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 19-Apr-16 17:10:31

Couldn't they have blown over?

It's really unlikely she's taken them

NoCapes Tue 19-Apr-16 17:12:42

I'd go over and say "sorry I think my butterflies have blown into your garden?"
She'll probably just give them back

AddToBasket Tue 19-Apr-16 17:13:32

Definitely don't 'confront' the mother. These DC are young and were probably caught out by you. Any confrontation or aggressive behaviour is likely to put things on a bad footing with your neighbors and you really don't want that. Not worth it.

However, I would be tempted to say something or probably write a note along the lines of 'I think your DC may have been in my garden today. I'm very happy for them to keep the butterflies and enjoy them. I wonder if you could ask them to stay out in future?'

VicWillia Tue 19-Apr-16 17:13:52

They couldn't have blown over, they were half buried in a flower bed, plus there were 4, I could understand one blowing over but not 4. I also doubt the dd climbing over as its quite a high wall.

WorraLiberty Tue 19-Apr-16 17:13:58

There's no 'confrontation' necessary.

All you simply have to do, is say (in an inquisitive voice), "I bought these butterflies the other day, but your kids say they found them in their garden"?

Let her take the conversation up from there.

There's probably a reasonable explanation, though goodness knows what it is, but I doubt this is 'the great butterfly hoist of the century' grin

Witchend Tue 19-Apr-16 17:14:44

How secure were they? Round here foxes/squirrels/magpies sometimes move things into surprising places.

2ManySweets Tue 19-Apr-16 17:15:50

Errr, don't you think the kids might've taken them?

GraysAnalogy Tue 19-Apr-16 17:17:31

I'd nip round and say oh I think my butterflies have ended up in your garden, mind if I take them back

ScarletForYa Tue 19-Apr-16 17:17:57

The kids took them!

VicWillia Tue 19-Apr-16 17:19:02

The wall is about 5 foot, would be surprised if a 5 year old climbed it. Plus I notice as soon as the dds told me about them she called them inside.

ScarletForYa Tue 19-Apr-16 17:22:05

Could they have climbed over the crumbling wall?

ScarletForYa Tue 19-Apr-16 17:22:23

Oops, cross post.

VicWillia Tue 19-Apr-16 17:25:50

I'm not going to do anything. As I said I don't mind that they have them, they cost next to nothing.

Seryph Tue 19-Apr-16 17:28:05

I would have said to the little girl, "Oh those must have escaped from my garden, can you round them up for me?" in a cheerful tone and put them back in my own garden.

Arfarfanarf Tue 19-Apr-16 17:28:32

but you have set a precedent.

Now they think you are someone they can steal from and you won't do anything.Don't be surprised when other things start to go missing.

You'd be amazed what kids can climb, tbh. Don't rule it out.

BombadierFritz Tue 19-Apr-16 17:30:27

You need to say something. Most likely it was the kids. So nice and non confrontational and friendly.But if she stole them shes not going to stop if you pretend not to notice.

Cloudstasteofmash Tue 19-Apr-16 17:30:54

oh I don't know.

What if you went over and she said she bought them.

I'd probally just go and take them back in the dead of night.

My neighbour is convinced I took her wheelie bin but I genuinly didn't! She ignores me when she sees me shock

BombadierFritz Tue 19-Apr-16 17:34:21

If she denies it you can act all sad that someone must have stolen yours and say you are getting cctv if there are thieves around sad sad and advise her to do the same in case hers are stolen n

OnlyLovers Tue 19-Apr-16 17:36:42

I agree with Worra:

'(inquisitive voice), "I bought these butterflies the other day, but your kids say they found them in their garden"?'

If she's reasonable she'll be reasonable about it, whatever the explanation. If she isn't, you'll know.

I suspect one of the kids took them and is 'lying' about it in the way kids do.

sizeofalentil Tue 19-Apr-16 17:38:49

If you really don't want to confront them, and I can see why you wouldn't - I hate fuss and confrontation - you could put a fake cctv camera up at the back of the house to deter further intrusions. Make sure you can't be accused of pointing it in their garden or at the kids though.

But I do think not saying anything now is setting yourself up for further 'borrowing' later.

Do you have any kids? Could they have thrown them over the fence?

GoblinLittleOwl Tue 19-Apr-16 17:42:16

Would the mother really climb a garden wall to take four cheap butterflies?
Teenagers,' rearranging' people's possessions?
Don't buy gnomes!

BoatyMcBoat Tue 19-Apr-16 17:55:51

I would just mention that your butterflies seem to have flown over the fence, in a jolly jokey sort of way. Then tell her you don't mind, but you don't expect it to happen again.

APlaceOnTheCouch Tue 19-Apr-16 18:04:36

I seriously doubt she stole your butterflies. If you are absolutely certain that they couldn't have blown and the girls couldn't have moved them, then I'd be thinking teenage or drunken prank.

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