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.




Your Pets Know

English: There Cap'n Goldsack goes, creeping, ...
English: There Cap’n Goldsack goes, creeping, creeping, creeping, Looking for his reasure down below!: illustration of a pirate ghost. This was originally published in Sharp, William (July 1902). “Cap’n Goldsack”. Harper’s Magazine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Your Pets Know


When you’re alone or scared at night and feeling very tense,


Who knows what dogs hear, and who knows what they sense,


A dog might snarl and show her teeth while staring at a wall,


Someone might have entered the room, yet you see nothing at all,


When the silence gets too loud, during the time that you fear most,


You’ll wish you had a dog around, to warn you of the ghosts,


A faint smell of decaying flesh or a chill running up your spine,


Is enough to put your teeth on edge, but when the dog starts to whine,


A powerful force is in the room, sharing your time and space,


Your dog will remain beside you, as the ghost meets you face to face.


A cat, on the other hand, might hiss and arch his back,


A cat knows whether friend or foe, and if the ghost will attack,


Should the cat stretch and purr, as if stroked by a ghostly hand,


There’s a gentle soul in the room, who hopes you understand,


If either the dog or the cat runs, terror evident in their eyes,


Then it might not be a simple ghost, but the devil in disguise,


Pull the covers over your head, should you be scared at night,


And if you want a chance to flee, keep your pets in sight.




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.

Belle and Suzi

English: A common brand of hotdog widely avail...
Image via Wikipedia

Belle and the Hotdog

On Friday, the school cafeteria was nosier than usual. A special program had been presented during a morning assembly and everyone was so excited.  The elementary classes had listened and watched as a salesman explained how easy it was to win prizes and raise funds for the school just by selling cookie dough.  And if they sold cookie dough on the very first day they could win money and candy prizes.

This was a win, win, win situation.   Voices competed to be heard as plans were being made.  Students mapped out strategies with their friends.  This weekend was the target.

Joe was especially excited. Although Joe was normally talkative and restless, today he was serious and quiet.  He was just one in a sea of faces as he contemplated how to win without stirring up problems.  He knew a lot of places he could go to sell cookie dough.  That wasn’t the problem.  He wanted to win and prove he was a better salesman than Scott.  Scott was his archenemy and a bully.  Scott also wanted to win and he didn’t want any competition.  He had already warned Joe not to try so hard.

Belle, in her therapy role, was bored with all the talk and no one was paying any attention to her.  Her senses were working overtime. The cafeteria food, hotdogs and beans, didn’t smell as good as she hoped.  She decided to wait for something better.

She lay near Joe’s feet, listening intently to the children’s excited chatter.  Something did not sound right.  Somewhere in the middle of all the conversation a voice ceased.

Acting on a hunch Belle raced to the place where an excited voice had changed and had become suddenly quiet.

A girl, her hands at her throat, was turning purple.  Without wondering whether she had read about this or had seen this happen, Belle hurled herself against the girl’s back. Whack!  A piece of hotdog popped from the girl’s mouth.

Scott yelled, “This dog just attacked Suzi without warning!  I knew this dog was dangerous.”

Joe sputtered, “Belle saved her life.  If she hadn’t hit Suzi’s back, then shemight have choked to death.”

Scott ranted, “Belle attacked her.  I was the one who saved Suzi from choking.”  He pointed at a second grader.  “What did you see?” he demanded.

“Just what you said.  The dog jumped on her.”

Scott looked at the principal.  “That dog attacked Suzi but I saved her life. I should get some recognition and that dog needs to be out.”

Belle didn’t want praise for herself.  She just wanted Suzi to be okay and everything back to normal.  She knew Scott was lying but how could she prove him wrong? But did it really matter?

Suzi had recovered by then.  “Belle saved my life!  Scott was laughing at me because I was choking.  He didn’t help.  It was the dog that saved me.”

Other voices chimed in.  Nobody had been willing to go against Scott until Suzi spoke up.  There seemed to be safety in numbers and now they all clamored to be heard.  Scott turned to Joe.  “I’ll get you for this,” he vowed.  “You and that dumb dog!”

He stomped off, angry at Belle, angry at Joe, and angry at the world.

Joe was more serious than ever about winning the cookie dough contest.  He didn’t want to worry about Scott and his threats. Scott might try to beat Joe up but Joe wasn’t afraid. He would stand up to Scott next time.  Bullies only got worse if they got their way.


Belle Goes to School

English: A Lhasa Apso.
Image via Wikipedia

One Sunday as I finished giving Belle her weekly scrub,

Her expression said, “I’m tired of being in the tub,”

She looked shaggy while wet and needing a trim,

And I don’t think she liked her little swim,


As soon as her feet hit the bathroom floor,

Lickety-split she was out the bathroom door,

Vigorously she shook, then gave a final shrug,

She began racing from room to room, then rug to rug,


I pretended to chase her and I really did try,

But her energy seemed endless and she needed to dry,

Like a clock with a spring she finally wound down,

She lay there thinking and didn’t make a sound,


I thought she said, “I’ve been watching the kids go to school,

I’m ready to go, too, it looks pretty cool,”

I drove to school with Belle in the back,

She knew she would have to remain in my backpack,


Even for a teacher dogs weren’t allowed at school,

But Belle looked so happy I was willing to break the rule,

The morning went smoothly, you might say it was a breeze,

Belle took her constitutional after her lunch of mac and cheese,


My lessons were great but they might have been boring,

As the afternoon progressed I heard someone snoring,

If everyone stayed quiet that was okay with me,

But a rascal named Joe had an insatiable curiosity,


He was restless, talkative, and definitely wiggly,

He teased the girls and made them giggly,

He wanted to impress the girls how tough he could be,

It was evident he was ready to challenge me,


Belle could sense that trouble was ready to brew,

So she jumped out of the backpack, she knew what to do,

Joe’s admirers saw Belle and left him behind,

Without an audience he nearly lost his mind,


Joe was ready to fight everybody he could see,

And of course, his target happened to be me,

Belle was aware that Joe didn’t care at all,

That’s when she brought him a soccer ball,


My class went outside for the ultimate game,

Joe and his friends against me and what’s-her-name,

It was hard fought and Joe did his best,

The score was tied close to the end of the contest,


Belle looked at Joe, then gave me a grin,

And sealed their friendship, she let him win,

The principal arrived, “What’s this?” he croaked like a frog,

Joe faced him defiantly, “She’s our therapy dog,”


From then on when I brought Belle to school,

Joe claimed he taught her to read and she wasn’t a fool,

She knew not to argue when she had it so good,

Because Belle, the therapy dog, always understood.




Sonia and Her Cat

Can't Forget You (Sonia song)
Image via Wikipedia

Perhaps you can attribute this to fate,

This occurrence was not entirely of my choosing,

So I hope you can relate,

A problem arose with a relationship that I thought strange,

I decided to move away,

And my life rearrange,

I had considered my trip before New Year’s Day,

And my first resolution was to be organized,

In every possible way,

Since I had planned to move to another state,

Everything had to be packed and wrapped securely,

Before the moving date,

Each box had a number and a name,

Then taped to make it strong,

I thought I could make moving to be like a game,

I thought nothing could go wrong if I was organized like that,

But then Sonia walked up and asked,

“Where’s my cat?”

Our relationship was in total disarray,

But we began to search together,

Because we couldn’t leave it that way,

Fortunately I had rented a truck,

With all my worldly goods loaded neatly,

But I still had bad luck,

Time was a factor and I considered that,

Everything could have been methodically checked,

But she wasn’t leaving without her cat,

Boxes, boxes, they were strewn everywhere,

I’d gone through most of them,

While pulling out my hair,

I didn’t know what to think, my head was in a fog,

I couldn’t find her cat,

But I did find my dog,

I’d done as much as I knew how,

She was still crying,

I asked, “What do you want me to do now?”

She glared at me for a moment until an idea hit,

I’d use my dog to find her cat,

My idea was the perfect fit,

I was brilliant but my dog was dumb,

It wasn’t long before the place was in shambles,

And I was just a bit numb,

Sonia didn’t seem happy although her cat was okay,

My dog wasn’t happy either,

He still wanted to play,

Carefully I straightened up the mess,

Then I drove down the street slowly,

It was time for me to leave, that I’ll confess,

When I had traveled a thousand miles,

I stopped to walk the dog,

And remember Sonia and her smile,

There was no way I was turning back,

Too much had happened between us,

We couldn’t even keep track,

While I leaned against the truck and thought about her,

My dog looked at me in surprise,

He, too, had heard a purr,

There just wasn’t anywhere I could unload the truck,

So I just turned it around,

And attributed it to bad luck,

I was tired and hungry and everything seemed so wrong,

When I pulled up to the house,

I heard, “What took you so long?”

Sonia was waiting with a smile and all that,

Then she helped me find the box marked “C”,

Where she had hidden her cat,

It was the best start to a New Year ever,

For we bonded at the heart,

That no move could ever sever.









The Misunderstanding

Photo of Cocker Spaniel Ch. Obo II, published ...
Image via Wikipedia

Judge Henson had a Cocker Spaniel,

That really
made his day,

He wanted to
show her off,

To anyone
who came his way,

The Judge
invited me to see,

This Spaniel bitch on display,

“Come over
for a mint julep,

About two
p.m. on Thursday,”

The Judge also had a daughter,

Who seemed
far beyond my reach,

I had become
enamored with her,

After I seeing her on the beach,

But that
afternoon it was the Judge and I,

As we sipped
our juleps down,

I dared not
ask about his daughter,

He’d run several
men out of town,

The spaniel
was paraded before me,

But the
showing was too quick,

“Judge,” I
said, “she’s quite a bitch,

And she’s
the one I’d pick,”

About that
time Ellie Mae walked in,

She’d heard
what I had said,

She thought I
was talking about her,

And, boy,
was her face red,

“She stands right and has a beautiful tail,

But I’d like
to see much more,”

Ellie Mae
huffed and snorted,

And scampered
quickly out the door,

Judge Henson
stood up and shook my hand,

His hand
gripped me like a vise,

“I saw you
looking at my girl,

My only child,
and I’ve got some advice,”

“But I’ve got
a 4 o’clock tee time,

So please
don’t rush away,

My wife
should be home any time now,

For dinner
she’ll want you to stay,”

I thought
Ellie Mae had hidden someplace,

going somewhere to brood,

But she
returned with a smile on her face,

She forgave
me for being rude,

Somehow the
lights were dimmed,

Music was
playing with a wild primal beat,

Ellie Mae
was making me nervous,

commanded, “Please have a seat!”

She began
dancing with abandon,

My face
suddenly became pale,

When she
shimmied and asked,

“Do you like
my tail?”

Before I
could explain,

I wasn’t
referring to her,

She got on
all fours,

And began to softly purr,

She jumped
on the couch,

And looked
me in the eye,

“I’ve been
waiting for someone like you,

I want a
bold kind of guy,”

happened so quickly,

I couldn’t
have planned it if I chose,

But her
mother arrived and saw us on the couch,

“Son, are
you trying to propose?”

And that’s
the true story,

Of how I got hitched,

I know it
sounds funny,

But I went
to see a bitch,

Now I’ve got
a whole kennel,

Of puppies
and rug rats galore,

Just because
I said, “She has a beautiful tail,

But I’d like
to see much more.”

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