The Garden Wars (part 2)


English: A rabbit (A cottontail, I think) posi...
English: A rabbit (A cottontail, I think) posing on the grounds of Pompeys Pillar National Monument. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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


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.

 

 

 

Into This World


World! Wide! Love!
Image via Wikipedia

Nothing but love I brought into this world,

I was transparent to all who cared,

I had no need for extra things,

Because I had lots of love to share,

As I grew older the world was mine,

To explore the treasures she had,

And to her bosom I often went,

For I was a curious lad,

Barefoot and rambunctious I grew up,

With few possessions to my name,

Only what nature so freely gave,

Were part of the rules of the game,

Splendid colors did the earth display,

From pastels to brilliant shades,

As she twirled on her destined way,

The world watched as I emulated her lead,

I shared my belongings along the way,

And love was all I ever needed,

To keep my greed at bay,

But the pretenders of love did not stop,

I fought through loneliness and tears,

All I had left was love, sweet love,

And it’s stayed with me for years,

There’s nothing else but love,

That’ll fit between those pearly gates,

And everything else will slip right down,

And fall through the sewer’s grates.

 

“Marriage Is a Rose Garden”


English: Sahara rose - Bagatelle Rose Garden (...
Image via Wikipedia

We were arguing while waiting in a long line,

There was a concert we wanted to see,

We were newlyweds and things were wrong,

I blamed you and you blamed me,

I expected home to be the Garden of Eden,

Where I could rule my kingdom every day,

Then I discovered you were a princess,

Used to getting your own way,

Neither of us was ready to give in,

Already our love was wearing thin,

We wondered if our love could be mended,

And if we could still remain friends,

The elderly couple behind us was in love,

We could see it in their eyes,

“Could you give me the secret of love?”

What they shared seemed true and wise,

The man smiled and hugged his wife,

Penny and I learned long ago,

That a marriage is built day by day,

And there was much we each had to know,

Penny taught me warmth and love,

And that friendship is a must,

When others try to tear you apart,

You still have to continue to trust,”

“Love is just the icing on the cake,”

He continued, “Respect is something you need,

If respect and support are missing,

Your marriage is in trouble indeed,

We like to think love is a living plant,

That thrives when tended well,

When it is given the proper nutrients,

It gets stronger as time will tell,”

Penny said, “Marriage is a rose garden,

And often the beauty brings tears,

All the blooms are not yours alone,

They are to be shared for years and years,

Foolish hearts often give up too quick,

Before the garden has a chance to bloom,

They forget that roses thrive best,

When given lots of light and room,

In the first year when new growth appears,

And you’re considering what seeds to sow,

Talk to God about your spouse,

And what the marriage needs to grow,

Give your rose garden tender loving care,

A rose garden blooms profusely when fed,

But don’t forget the most important part,

Prune any part of you that is dead,

Ask yourself the reasons you fell in love,

Challenge each other to revisit them again,

This is one time to dig up the past,

For this time both can win,

With maturity your world will expand a lot,

So be prepared for both to change,

If either was stagnant and did not grow,

Wouldn’t that have been strange?

Marriage is a rose garden,

You have to twist and bend,

When you keep love in sight,

You fall in love again,

There is one secret to ensure success,

To stay married to your best friend,

Think of the good your spouse does each day,

And you’ll fall in love again,

Seek God out for perfect advice,

For patience when troubles brew,

It would be wise to explore your own heart,

Instead of what your spouse should do,

Daily remind yourself you made a great choice,

And found the perfect person for you,

Then falling in love and over again,

Will be easier and easier to do,”

We entered the doors and found our seats,

The music was powerful and loud,

But as we sat there thinking things over,

We realized it’s hard to think in a crowd,

Our hearts were troubled and we left midway,

We found a place where we could walk,

Then in a diner we shared coffee and a slice of pie,

We opened up and had a heart to heart talk,

It was like a flame from friendship grew,

We were connected by our hearts once more,

And in the early hours I fell in love,

And worried what the future had in store,

My wife also had made her choice,

I would always be her man,

Then we decided that a rose garden,

Would keep us focused on a plan,

In the morning when the sun came up,

While the dew was still on the ground,

We planted a single rose bush,

To remind us of the love we found,

Every year we’ll add yet another,

Then share what our hearts have learned,

The garden will fill with bouquets of rose buds,

The rewards our marriage has earned.

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