The Garden of Diminishing Returns
There were cantaloupes, squash, tomatoes galore,
Green beans, watermelons, green peppers and more,
Growing fast, trying to crawl out of sight,
I swear I could hear the garden growing at night,
But in the mornings when I checked the plants,
The vegetables were half eaten and covered with ants,
No matter what I tried or wherever I turned,
The results were the same—-diminishing returns!
I sat out in my chair with my dog on the lawn,
Hoping to see some critters, I’d wait until dawn,
Ground squirrels were scurrying, rabbits came dancing,
Cicadas were chirping, deer were prancing,
Everywhere I looked there was some kind of motion,
The garden was alive with activity and commotion,
Chomping new flowers and munching new shoots,
The animals were all dressed in their evening suits,
There was a call to order and they all sat down,
The biggest rabbit was worried, I could tell by his frown,
“We’ve got to control the rabbits at school,
There’s been multiplication against the rule,
Not everyone stays seated until a lesson is through,
This is outrageous! What shall we do?
Deer have been entering and then going out,
I’m not sure what’s that all about,
And the squirrels have been going nuts,
So there you have it, no ifs, ands, or buts,
We’ll have to move on and find new grounds,
This garden will be tagged as “out of bounds”,
But if we destroy too much we’ll soon learn,
One small garden yields diminishing returns,”
They thumped out a vote and gave him a hand,
It was clear they agreed with his conservative stand,
The majority was liberal enough to see,
If they harvested carefully enough there’d be,
If each did his share, working part of each day,
There would also be time to sleep and play,
He explained if they wanted, they could help him with stuff,
So they planted, watered, and did more than enough.
He told them that they still had lots to learn,
Because no one wins with diminishing returns.
That old rabbit spoke with authority before he disappeared underground,
I’m glad I stayed alert and wrote it all down.
That garden was a life source to all, including me,
It brought a new way of thinking for us to get along,
And I really like those critters, don’t get me wrong.
But if someone thinks I’m feeding that complete herd,
That’s way out of line, kind of crazy, absurd!
Okay, just a nibble. I grew tons of stuff.
If all of you are careful there’s more than enough!
The sprinklers went off and woke me from a dream,
I can’t quite remember what made me want to scream.
But now I have a peaceful feeling way deep inside,
And when I look at my garden I have a sense of pride.
Every row is trimmed, organized, and neat,
But I could almost swear I see some little feet.
My garden is growing right up to the sky,
And on my doorstep this morning was a strawberry pie.
I always thought gardening would be hard to learn,
I knew there was a problem with diminishing returns.
The Negotiated Settlement (part three)
I leaned on my hoe and thought about all that had transpired this summer and last. I was losing the garden war. My vegetables were disappearing at an increasing rate under the onslaught of the critters, especially by the attacks of the rabbits. In reality I had already given up. They were simply too much for me.
I toyed with the ideas of putting poison in each rabbit and ground squirrel hole, or sitting outside with my shotgun and trying to shoot just one. I finally decided both of those plans had flaws. I could be fined or arrested for shooting a firearm too close to residences, disturbing my neighbors with the noise, or worse, accidently shooting myself in all of the excitement.
As for the poison, it could have been long slow deaths for the rabbits and squirrels, and possibly for dogs or cats which happened upon a weakened rodent and decided it was a snack. I couldn’t take a chance.
I sat down and leaned against a tree as I pondered the ultimate demise of the pesky critters. My eyelids were heavy and I closed them just for a moment. I was so tired and I needed to rest. It seemed that I was floating, but the tree hadn’t moved. I hadn’t moved either but now I could see and hear things I had missed before.
Off in the distance a strange cadence broke the silence. The noise grew louder and I decided that the noisemaker was getting closer. I finally recognized the sound, just as a line of rabbits came thumping and hopping into view. It was a parade.
Each rabbit carried a musical instrument. I counted twenty trombones, twenty trumpets, fifteen snare drums, ten clarinets, and ten saxophones. At first, only the drummers were producing music, but the other musicians soon combined and began playing a Souza march.
Behind the musical marchers were three rows of suited rabbits. Each rabbit had two tall ears and a button nose. They wore crisp pin-striped suits and looked like they were fresh out of Entrepreneur or Playboy. The marching rabbits stopped and marched in place before separating and forming a path to let one of the suited rabbits through.
The rabbit was grizzled and old. He stepped forward and leaned on his polished cane. “Son,” he muttered, “we’re here to negotiate a truce. The vegetables are going to be gone soon if nothing is done. I’m here to help you!”
This was a surprise. Why did the rabbits want to help me? I was the enemy.
Two rabbits handed some papers to the old rabbit. He glanced at the papers before clearing his throat and saying, “We think all could benefit from our proposal.”
I thought t over quickly. “It’s my garden so I’m willing to give the rabbits and squirrels ten percent. No, make it twenty percent.” I was feeling generous and happy my ordeal was over.
The rabbit chuckled and then thumped the ground, howling with laughter. Other rabbits joined in and continued to laugh until he raised his paw and bade them to stop.
“There are so many more of us and we need more just because of our sheer numbers. We think the split should be ninety percent for us and ten percent for you. In addition, we also expect you to maintain the garden in order to earn your ten percent. To be fair, for our part we’ll eat the grass and thin the vegetables, leaving you ten percent.”
“That’s not fair!” I fumed. “That’s robbery!”
The old rabbit frowned at his assistants. All were solemn without any changes of expression, except for an occasional nose twitch. “You have no choice. Take it or leave it. We might decide to take it all!”
He stomped out of the garden, stopping only for a moment while he whispered to his assistants. They hopped about nervously, occasionally frowning at me, before proceeding out the gate.
While I considered his offer, a young rabbit pushed against the garden fence, looking for a place to enter. “This is ridiculous,” I said. “They’ve gotten so fat they can’t even get in.”
What could I do? I had nothing to bargain with. It was either lose everything, or get ten percent, if I worked hard to keep the garden up. Unless I acted quickly I would lose my garden entirely. I decided to agree with terms even though the settlement was not right. This year I was beaten.
I shook myself. I must have been dreaming. An idea began to form and I smiled. “Next year,” I said quietly. “Next year I will win. I will thwart all attacks because I won’t care. I will plant weeds!”
I smiled again at my devilish plan. I’d win by losing. I wouldn’t have a garden but the critters and lawyers would get nothing! It was brilliant!
The Garden Wars (part 2)
The garden war intensified. The rabbits responded to my attempts to drive them away. No longer did they simply hide behind plants and run. Despite my border control, the attacks on the garden increased on all fronts. The cute little bunnies enlisted the help of gophers to assist the ground squirrels. Instead of holes here and there that the rabbits and squirrels could dive into, I discovered an intricate underground tunnel system that allowed the critters to appear or disappear at will. Under all the stress my mind began creating little rhymes. I went around muttering, “Hop, hop, hop. They keep on munching and never stop.”
An aerial attack was also underway. Doves, pigeons, and blue jays swooped down on my strawberries and sampled them, selecting only the ripest and plumpest, disdainfully rejecting the green ones. I tied colorful streamers to poles, hoping that the motions of the aluminum strips fluttering in the wind would keep the birds away. However, the multi-colored strips attracted larger flocks of birds, which I think reminded them of parties held in my neighborhood. Or perhaps the streamers served as wind socks, letting the incoming traffic land without mishap. In any case, the combined forces presented a front that was overwhelming.
For awhile I hated all the critters because they had taken charge and eliminated any chance of a successful harvest. I yelled at them frequently. “You’re greedy and selfish. You’re destroying everything. Have you no decency?”
I needed to be patient. Everything had its season and the garden’s season had brought its bounty. Maybe all of the critters would overeat and pop. I could see the chubby rabbits hopping between the rows without regard for my needs. I still couldn’t catch them but if I had patience I might catch one off guard.
I waited my chance but my heart softened as I began observing their traits and habits. I decided all rabbit families were not the same. Some families turned the little rabbits loose as soon as they entered the garden. The wee ones scampered about wildly, disregarding all danger and became a distraction to the other rabbits. Other rabbit families kept their offspring under control, keeping them nearby until their shopping was completed. But whether the families allowed wild hares or not, I began realizing rabbit families were similar in many ways to humans. I could not harm them after that.
- Garden of Eaten (poetsenvy.wordpress.com)
- Hippity-Hoppity… (serenityspell.com)
- Photos: Famous Rabbits We All ‘Wuved’ (abcnews.go.com)
- Rabbits (maxinedevillefranche.com)
- Garden of Eaten (danroberson.wordpress.com)
- Don’t tell the rabbits! (positivewordsmagazine.wordpress.com)
The Garden of Eaten
After last year’s dismal attempts at growing a garden I should have known better and just bought produce at the local store. It was a conspiracy right from the beginning and I didn’t anticipate the craftiness and tenacity of rabbits and ground squirrels.
I labored in the sun, lovingly and carefully placing the seeds in meticulous rows or circular formations. I did not pay close attention to the eyes that watched hungrily. I was in charge and I would maintain order as the tomatoes and cantaloupes, the beans and watermelons, and the other assorted vegetables grew in regulated patterns. In theory everything would be perfect.
At first the plants themselves did not cooperate. They grew rapidly, sprawling over cages and netting. I adjusted my watering and feeding schedules. Yes, there were timelines and soil and fertilizer mixtures prepared for each type of plant. I worked the garden methodically, expecting everything to grow exactly as I wanted. But one morning I noticed that the cantaloupe vines were lying in new directions.
I scratched my head and studied them. As I pondered, one vine stretched taut and then suddenly went limp. I walked over and examined the end of the vine. It had been sliced cleanly. Something had happened and I had missed it. I focused on a small hill and was rewarded when a pair of ears emerged, followed by a pair of dark eyes. A rabbit stared at me, apparently waiting for my next move. I could have sworn it was smiling as it casually munched on cantaloupe vines. The rabbit was either really brave or it realized I had no chance of catching it. Like a soldier preparing to march off to war, I swung my hoe up and against my shoulder. I muttered angrily, “Mister Rabbit, this means war!”
I strode purposefully towards the rabbit, but it waited until I was close. Then with three short hops it disappeared under the fence. I was fuming because the rabbit had violated my Garden of Eden, my model of perfection.
Once safe on the other side, the rabbit turned and winked. It was deliberate and mean spirited. I knew this rabbit was taunting me. He waved, but not at me. I turned around slowly. Behind me, little rabbits were munching on cantaloupe flowers and new growth. I lifted my hoe and the rabbits scattered in all directions. I was like the legendary Mr. McGregor chasing Peter Rabbit. I gave chase but I was too slow and the little rabbit wriggled under the gate and escaped.
The next few days I fixed the fence, set traps, and even put out repellent. I was determined to keep the rabbits away. Throughout the summer I waged war but it became clear I was on the losing side. With the exception of the tomatoes my garden shrank under the attack of the hungry hordes.
Each night I had nightmares about animated rabbits and ground squirrels. In these dreams rabbits and squirrels sat at a huge banquet table eating their fill while I hurried to grow more to satisfy their needs. Each rabbit and squirrel told others and soon cousins and uncles arrived from distant climes to share this feast. Rabbits appeared everywhere and thrived in spite of me. I finally capitulated and left the rabbits and squirrels alone. My dream convinced me they were the chosen ones.
This year I’m doing things differently but that’s another story.
- Chasing Rabbits… (totellyouthetruthfolks.wordpress.com)
- Rabbit Destruction Council (behance.net)
- Don’t tell the rabbits! (positivewordsmagazine.wordpress.com)
- Rabbit stew (longoio.wordpress.com)
- Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall serves up squirrel in Devon (telegraph.co.uk)
- Amazon – The Peter Rabbit Stories Kindle Download $1.00 (forthemommas.com)
Truth and I
“Truth,” said I, “let’s spend the day,
Walking together wherever we may.”
“Are you sure,” she asked, “You want to be with me?
For I go places you’ll never be.”
“Truth, you’re beautiful,” I vehemently claimed.
“Throughout the day you’re always the same.”
I thought I could sway her with flattery and flowers,
But she remained unchanged despite my powers.
She said, “You don’t understand my heart or my mind.
I’m out in the open but hard to find.”
She said, “I have many faces and I’m rarely the same.
I can be rampaging or be quiet and tame.”
I believed in one Truth so I laughed out loud.
I ignored the levels of Truth because I was proud,
Truth stood before me stark naked and plain,
If I embraced her, would she be as cleansing as rain?
“I love you, Truth, I won’t be denied,”
But I exaggerated a lot, and, of course, I lied.
- How Do You Tell the Truth? (caregiving.com)
- The value of truth. Did it just decrease? (marketingheart.wordpress.com)
- Truth… (ladylovelyblogger.wordpress.com)
- Speaking the Truth (arrivingblog.wordpress.com)
My Inquiring Mind
I see you in the mirror
As you put on your face.
Carefully your makeup goes on.
You didn’t miss any place.
Eye liner, perfume, lipstick,
Even more than I recall.
I’ll never say I love you best,
When you wear nothing at all.
You have nothing to wear,
Is a complaint you often share.
But ,darling, if that was true,
You’d be walking around cold and bare.
Don’t tell me what you want.
Just tell me what you need.
Your silence and body language
Are not very hard to read.
I’ll give my best for you.
You mean the world to me.
I’ll try to keep you in clothes,
Good enough for the world to see.
You’re not very happy with me..
You might think I’m a dunce.
You could wear that wedding gown,
Because you only wore it once.
Who cares if you clothes look worn?
For once we would finally agree.
Throw on sweats and come along.
You could be comfortable like me.
If going to a concert makes you mad,
Why do you always want to go?
I don’t understand that about a woman,
And my inquiring mind wants to know.
- Rimmel Scandal’Eyes Eyeliner Review (abritishcocktail.wordpress.com)
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- What do you do when your wedding dress is covered in fake blood ! (colincrowdey.com)
- Starting Tomorrow: Brocklind’s Closeout Sale (slog.thestranger.com)
- The ugly truth (debaucherysoup.com)
- Red Lipstick Tips For Every Woman (dangerouslee.biz)
We’re Lucky to Have Christmas
Time stood still and my heart stopped,
When she announced she was leaving that night.
It didn’t sink in that she meant what she said,
Until she got on the very next flight.
I think of the time I wasted,
Letting it slowly slip through my hands.
I could have been loving her,
Rather than complaining and giving commands.
She promised she would love me forever.
I think she intended it to be true.
I said I could survive on my own
But deep within my heart I knew.
I could have used time in segments,
Dinner for two, flowers, a loving glance,
Instead I spent time on my own interests,
And time didn’t give a second chance.
It was the season to laugh and be jolly
And the time to play in the snow.
But it was a sad time for me that year.
She wouldn’t be under the mistletoe.
We wouldn’t be watching a parade together,
From the very first float to the last.
I made many mistakes along the way.
And now our parade had gone past.
She talked about having quality time,
And times we could just hang out.
I insisted she was my very best friend.
But I gave her many reasons to doubt.
The Christmas lights in that bar were blurry,
The drinks were making me cry.
I hadn’t told her how much I loved her,
Yet I knew I was a lucky guy.
I was ready to go home and decide what to do.
I needed some time to think.
I heard a voice calling my name,
Then, “Cowboy, can I buy you a drink?”
I’ve never seen a face more beautiful.
She had returned and was smiling at me.
Now I’m a reformed and loving man.
I’m sure that’s the way it should be.
That’s my Christmas story,
I hope you take a moment to pause.
If she hadn’t returned there wouldn’t be Christmas.
If you don’t believe what I told you,
Just ask my wife, Mrs. Claus.
- As December 25th Draws Near (echoessilencepatienceandgrace.wordpress.com)
- It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… (deesdialogue.com.au)
- Christmas Counseling with the Kringles (aiminglow.com)
- Merry Christmas (coffeemuses.com)
- Everyone’s a Kid at Christmas! [Confessions of a Twenty-Something] (collegecandy.com)
Learning to Take Charge
“No, it’s late and time for bed.”
“Can I watch t.v. for a little while?”
“O.k.,” said mom, “because you asked with a smile.”
The girl sat on the floor waiting for the news to end.
Dad sat down and waited for his program to begin.
“Why are you still up?” he asked the apple of his eye.
“Mom said I could watch a show or two,
But now that you’re here, I guess it’s up to you.”
“Could I have ice cream?” the little girl said.
“Sure, since you’re up. Then it’s straight to bed.”
Mom returns after a long hot shower.
“Why is she up,” mom snaps, “at this late hour?”
There is little worse than righteous condemnation,
Especially since both contributed to the situation.
They go to battle because their rules aren’t applied.
The little girl learns to manipulate as time goes by.
Their friends choose sides and blame the father or the mother,
While the little girl plays one against the other.
She’ll be in charge when she becomes a teen,
But someday she’ll discover she’s not a real queen.
- The One Ingredient Ice Cream: Delicious, Healthy, and Paleo-friendly (transformingflabtofab.wordpress.com)
- Can’t go wrong with lights and cookies (pickyrunner.wordpress.com)
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Baby Bee’s Christmas
The hive was snug from the lid to the base.
The entrance was wide open for Santa, (just in case).
All the cracks had been sealed to shut out the cold.
Baby Bee was sleeping and good as gold.
The queen had inspected each and every frame,
Then she lined up her children and addressed them by name.
The youngest ones she checked closely and their noses she wiped.
“Is everything ready for Christmas?” she piped.
“If the decorations are finished, leave on a small light.
Santa Bee will be arriving sometime tonight.”
She ordered a plate of honey and pollen so Santa could be fed.
Then she hugged all her babies and tucked them in bed.
All were sleeping soundly when they heard such a clatter.
Santa Bee had arrived in the midst of a swarm.
His cheeks were all red and he looked very warm.
Dispensing gifts from his sleigh as he raced through the hive,
He was interrupted by a question, “Mr. Santa, can I drive?”
The other bees were shocked that Baby Bee would ask.
Santa Bee chuckled and let her help with his task.
All around the world this magical swarm flew.
Bringing sweet gifts to everyone they knew.
As they left each hive and while they were still in sight,
Baby Bee would shout, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
- BeingDifferent: A Cute Interactive Storybook App For Kids to Understand Differences (funeducationalapps.com)
- Christmas Tree Lane opens, despite rain (fresnobee.com)
A Bee’s Night Before Christmas
It was the night before Christmas
And all through the hive
Bees were clustered together
Keeping warm and alive.
Three pairs of stockings
Were glued up for each bee
In the hopes that Santa
Would put gifts under a tree.
Each young bee was snuggled
Way deep in her cell
Dreaming of a honey flow
That the older bees knew well.
The queen was in her chamber
Guard bees sleeping close by
All of them as excited about Christmas
As a swarm on the fly.
The night was clear
The new moon was bright
Everyone knew for certain
Santa would be there that night.
When up on the roof
There rose such a clatter
The queen went with the guards
To see what was the matter.
On the roof they could see
A sleigh full of toys
Most of them for workers
Only one or two for the boys.
Eight bumblebees had been pulling
They made it look hard
Would Santa have the time
To reach each bee yard?
The driver’s face was red
From the cold (I suppose)
And icicles hung down
From the tip of her nose.
Her eyes were coal black
Her mouth made for smiles
She looked a little weary
She had traveled for miles.
Her coat was real thick
Made to keep her warm
Her wings were slightly tattered
From a late summer swarm.
She was quick as she placed gifts
Near where each bee lay
Then she pulled a beautiful tree
From off of her sleigh.
With a wink she said,
“These bumblebees are tired.
I’m looking for workers
Who want to be hired.”
Six volunteers jumped up
(they refused any money)
So she promised they’d receive
Extra stores of honey.
They darted out of the hive
And while they were in sight
Santa Bee buzzed, “A golden Christmas to all,
And to all a good night!”
Over almond orchards and clover
They flew on their way
They finished their task
Before Christmas Day.
- Honey Bee (danroberson.wordpress.com)
- Honey Bee (poetsenvy.wordpress.com)
- Bygone Christmas Classics (outtheother.typepad.com)
- Christmas Tree Lane opens, despite rain (fresnobee.com)