My grandchildren are the apple of my eye. So it was only fitting that I got hit in the eye by a fallen fruit while picking apples with the kids.

Chloe, 9, and her sister, Lily, almost 6, witnessed the senseless attack during a pleasant visit to the farm with my wife Sue and the girls’ parents, our daughter Lauren and her husband Guillaume.

The day started innocently enough with a wagon ride to the garden. The wagon, which was packed with about three dozen people, was pulled by a tractor that looked almost as old as the farm, which dates back to 1661.

Tom Wickham, who isn’t that old but, like me, is by no means a spring chicken, and whose family owns a 300-acre property that does have chickens, drove an asthmatic car down a dirt road littered with many bumps. , pits and ridges that my rear end could use a set of shock absorbers.

When we graciously arrived at the orchard, Tom told the beleaguered pack of pickers that there were three kinds of apples to choose from: Macoun, Honeycrisp and Snapdragon.

“Eat as much as you want,” he kindly said.

That was my cue to stuff my face with my second favorite fruit. My favorite are grapes, but only those that go into wine.

Sue and I spent $20 on a small paper bag that could be filled with as many apples as it would fit. This proved to be a problem when the wobbly handles broke and I had to carry a heavy load underneath, keeping the overflowing apples from spilling out so I could trip over one, fall flat on my face and make instant applesauce.

But an even more threatening situation loomed. In front of Chloe and Lily, I climbed up to a high apple branch and dislodged a Honeycrisp the size of a bocce ball and almost as hard.

A large apple fell at warp speed and pierced me in the right eye. Luckily I was wearing sunglasses, which didn’t make me look cool, but cushioned the blow and saved me from looking like the loser of a heavyweight boxing match.

“Are you alright Poppy?” Chloe asked with great concern.

“Yes, sweetie,” I replied.

Relieved that her grandfather hadn’t gone mad, which is my normal state anyway, Lily concluded, “You really are clumsy, Poppy.”

Loaded with the fruits of our labor, we waited for the wagon back to the farm.

I told Tom about my failure and added, “Anything happens in trees.”

Tom, a gentleman of few words, smiled.

Lily said, “Poppy, you’re so stupid.”

Chloe said: “Classic Poppy.”

Halfway back, the tractor screeched and stopped. Tom got out and stepped aside.

“Maybe he’s calling AAA,” I told Lauren.

“It will stand for Apple Apple Apple,” she replied.

I’m proud of her ability to put a pun on a pun, and said, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

Tom got back on the tractor and started it again. When we got to the parking lot, we loaded our fruit pick bags into the car and headed to the farm for apple pie (of course).

Later, when Sue and I got home, we dropped the bag and counted 26 apples. One of them, a big honey crisp, had a bruise.

“That’s the one that hit me,” I said. “Which just goes to show that an apple a day won’t keep an eye doctor.”

Jerry Zezima writes a humor column for the Tribune News Service and is the author of six books. His latest is One for the Ageless: How to Stay Young and Immature Even When You’re Really Old. Contact him at [email protected] or through