Garden of Eaten


Illustration of Peter Rabbit escaping and leav...
Illustration of Peter Rabbit escaping and leaving his jacket behind, from The Tale of Peter Rabbit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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.

 

 

 

A Mighty Roar


The Roar of Love
The Roar of Love (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She sat across from me,

Her eyes luminous and bright,

Her black glossy hair framed her face,

I guessed she could see in the darkest of night,

 

Her eyes were those of a predator,

And yet I could not look away,

I found her very attractive,

In an odd sort of way,

 

Staring intently at me,

I was more than just prey,

She was purring to my heartbeat,

And making a mating play,

 

I had no fear in my heart,

Just excitement welling up within,

How should I approach her,

When I didn’t know where to begin,

 

“Do you always wear a mask?”

Her question broke the ice,

“I didn’t want you to know my thoughts,” I said,

I presumed my answer would suffice,

 

 

“Do you want me?” she purred,

“Your interest is hard to see,”

I smiled at her question,

Because I knew she wanted me,

 

From my chest came a mighty roar,

She quivered, shook, and drew near,

She liked the animal sound that I made,

And she whispered in my ear,

 

“Let’s find a cave in the dark,

Someplace the light doesn’t shine,”

She followed me away from the crowd,

And she let me make her mine,

 

We loved away several nights,

I’m sure there will be more,

All she has to do is look at me,

And I begin to roar,

 

You, too, might find someone,

Who purrs both night and day,

Turn your instincts completely loose,

And love will find a way.

Chasing Rabbits


English: Rabbit shape Français : Silhouette d'...
Image via Wikipedia

Chasing Rabbits

Sometimes I would take Roxy and Pixie, my two labs, down to the river for long walks and let them explore.  Not only was it a change of scenery but it was a time for me to reflect about life in general.  During one of those outings I observed how life works for me and why I never seemed to get ahead.  After watching the dogs in their endeavors I decided that I’ve always chased rabbits.

Roxy was the faster of the two dogs and also the more skilled hunter.  She would make wide sweeps through the brush and flush rabbits that were hiding there.  Pixie would go ahead and wait for the rabbits to come her way.

A rabbit would jump out of the brush and race for shelter somewhere else, always with Roxy in hot pursuit.  Pixie would always be ready but somehow the rabbits would outmaneuver or jump at the right time and escape.  I didn’t pay much attention at first but I noticed the results were the same each and every time.

I set up an observation point so I could watch the entire chase.  The chase went smoothly and their efforts proved fruitless.  Somehow, though, I had a hunch that deception was taking place right before my eyes and I was missing a key ingredient of the action. I needed more information to come up with a reasonable explanation.

Several missions later I brought my camcorder and got ready for action.  Roxy flushed a rabbit. It ran and increased its lead for a moment. Roxy gained and drew closer.  Pixie waited and then dashed in just when the rabbit arrived.  The rabbit found a sudden burst of energy and got away.  At least it seemed that way as I watched in real time.

Later as I reviewed the movie I had taken of the chase, I noticed a few strange details.  The rabbit getting away was not the rabbit at the beginning of the chase.  After studying the movie in slow motion I came to the conclusion there were four rabbits, and they were in a relay.  The first rabbit would get a big lead, slow down and hide.  The second rabbit would leap up and repeat the process.  Each rabbit in turn would take over at the appropriate time, leaving the last rabbit to make a clean getaway.

I could almost hear each rabbit snickering behind the bushes.  “Heh, heh, heh.  I can hardly wait for my turn.  They’ll eat my dust as I show those dogs my speed.”

All my life I’ve been in pursuit of one rabbit after another.  Just when I thought life was under control, something else would leap to the front and distract me, leaving me to always be the chaser but never getting ahead.  By watching the dogs I learned to keep my eyes on my target. When it stops I need to take a moment to rest and regain strength.  And then be ready to run again.  Oh, yes, and to have fun.  I don’t have to catch anything today. Tomorrow will be a new day and there will be more rabbits.

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