The Negotiated Settlement


English: Rabbit shape Français : Silhouette d'...
English: Rabbit shape Français : Silhouette d’un lapin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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)


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.

 

 

 

The River’s Heart Is Cold


River Seridó
River Seridó (Photo credit: grungepunk2010)

 

The River’s Heart Is Cold

 

The river whispers to me as I walk along her banks,

 

She welcomes me into her depths but I stop and say, “No, thanks.”

 

She tells me she loves me and I almost believe it’s true,

 

Yet I know she’ll be fickle always and someday we’ll be through.

 

She shares the latest gossip she heard in meadows upstream,

 

I say the rumors aren’t the truth and they’re not as they seem.

 

She runs along beside me and her excitement she can’t conceal,

 

And she makes me vow secrecy for reasons she doesn’t reveal.

 

Her playful moods change rapidly especially after a pouring rain,

 

Angrily she gouges out channels when her banks don’t contain.

 

I would claim her as my own but her spirit runs wild and free,

 

She murmurs she loves me too but she’ll never belong to me.

 

I’ll be there to clean up her debris when clearly she’s to blame,

 

The river‘s heart is too cold to trust but I love her just the same.

 

 

 

Expiration Date


Expiration Date (film)
Expiration Date (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Expiration Date

 

Questions without answers drive me out of my mind,

 

And one answer in particular has been hard to find,

 

I’ve been noticing the labels on products in stores,

 

All the way to the ceilings and down to the floors,

 

From the ones I think marginal to the ones first-rate,

 

They’re all bar coded and have an expiration date,

 

Now I’ve been wondering but I’m not sure it’s true,

 

Are there expiration dates stamped on me and you?

 

Although I’ve inspected my skin from head to toes,

 

That date might still be hidden right under my nose,

 

There is so much to know and I want to relate,

 

What conditions are expected with my expiration date?

 

Am I like a fragrance and age pleasantly over time?

 

Or will I degrade quickly after I pass my prime?

 

No longer guaranteed to be as effective as before,

 

Even with a receipt I can’t be returned to the store,

 

Freshness, quality assurance, an answer I seek,

 

How long will it be before I’m past flavor’s peak?

 

Am I like a Golden Delicious that’s juicy and sweet,

 

And then become rotten and not fit to eat?

 

Do I have a warranty that’s determined by fate?

 

Or should I just expect to gradually deteriorate?

 

If I don’t have an answer then what will I do?

 

Time will expire without a chance to renew.

 

 

 

 

 

Take My Hand and We’ll Fly Today


(Photo credit: Wikipedia)”]A free-falling object achieves its terminal ve...We were falling from the sky,

That’s where we met, you and I,

Faster, faster, headfirst I went,

Without hesitating, until love was spent,

With you close by I didn’t care,

As we continued hurtling through the air,

Love was more than a scary ride,

We opened up with our hearts spread wide,

At first I was afraid and did not understand,

When you slowed and gently took my hand,

But your eyes found mine and then I knew,

You had fallen for me, too,

Terminal velocity, we loved at the same speed,

Sometimes I’d follow and sometimes I’d lead,

Our love was real but much too brief,

While the world rushed at us and caused us grief,

I could do nothing with the love I’d stored,

When you moved away and pulled the cord,

Farther and farther we drifted apart,

You left me alone with a broken heart,

Our love lasted while in the sky,

When we touched earth, love couldn’t fly,

Love met little resistance while in the air,

And I dared to think that you cared,

My heartbeat accelerated and I fell for you,

Yet I still wonder if you had fallen for me, too,

You might still be trying to control your fall,

But I’m urging you to heed love’s call,

Don’t let fear’s resistance keep you away,

Take my hand and we’ll fly today.

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.

 

“Caution!”


Roadsign-Warning-Sweden-General Caution
Image via Wikipedia

“Caution,” she once told me,

“If you’re not careful in love you might fall,”

Then she slyly slipped away,

Her statement meant nothing to me at all,

 

The next day I saw her under a tree,

“Are you afraid to be warm and tender?”

Coyly she didn’t have more to say,

I needed a clear question, not a mind bender,

 

“Lust burns intensely out of control,

While love burns steadily with an eternal flame,”

Her eyes stared into the depths of mine,

I asked myself, “Were her eyes always the same?”

 

“Come tonight and we’ll count the stars,”

I didn’t want to count each and every one,

That would be extremely boring,

And it didn’t sound like much fun,

 

“We’ll swim at midnight at the lake,

You’ll like the swimsuit that I’ll take,”

“I’m a good swimmer but I don’t swim at night,

We could just watch t.v. for goodness sake!”

 

I didn’t risk anything so I was safe,

I don’t understand where I went wrong,

I’m not sure what she wanted from me,

We could have watched sports all night long.

“Choose Me, Too!”


Choose Love
Image via Wikipedia

I don’t want to look into your liquid eyes,

I might fall in,

I don’t want to hold you all night,

But I’m ready to begin,

This night is perfect for loving you,

I know it’s true,

We’re more than great friends,

You know it too,

Your life has become intertwined with mine,

Up the beanstalk,

And to the stars we’ve climbed,

And it’s love we talk,

As we gather celestial rosebuds,

On our heavenly walk,

In my dreams I know I want to live with you,

My whole life through,

In my heart I’ve created a kingdom,

Just for you,

Our love will endure forever,

You know it’s true,

Choose me, too!”

My Smiles Within


all smiles
Image via Wikipedia

Sometimes my face hides my smiles within,

As I remember moments and special friends,

They’re all I have to keep me warm,

But they’re enough when memories swarm,

“See that puppy!” I shrieked out loud,

You would have thought I’d draw a crowd,

“Wow!” when excited at my first kiss,

Her eyes were closed in momentary bliss,

Each child born always brought a grin,

How could I hold back the happiness within?

Even at funerals I couldn’t suppress a smile,

As friends passed on, “I’ll see you in awhile,”

So now my thoughts are full of smiles,

I can stretch them out for miles and miles,

Weathered, worn, my face appears grim,

But hidden beneath this tired old skin,

Are hopes and dreams of things I sought,

And wrapped around them are smiling thoughts.

“Please Wait!” (continued)


Two Children Playing
Image via Wikipedia

Predicament (3/6)

3)  Insufficient funds, there must be some mistake,

Andrew read the line again. This couldn’t be happening,

It could just be a silly fake,

How could the young lady be part of a scam,

She was convincing and trustworthy,

But she had left him in a jam,

Once more he looked for numbers as he ran a check,

His entire life savings had disappeared,

Answers were needed because his life was in a wreck,

He called her company. The response made him nervous,

He realized what a fool he was when a voice said,

“I’m sorry.  This line has been disconnected and is no longer in service.”

He called the attorney general’s office and much to his dismay,

There seemed to be a pattern in all the lessons he had learned,

“I’m sorry.  The attorney general is in a meeting or away for the day,

Please leave your name and number and your call will be returned,”

It was too late to ask anyone for advice,

Anyone he talked to turned a deaf ear,

Nothing he could do, no laws would suffice,

He encountered walls everywhere he tried,

There was only one thing left to do,

He went home and cried.

 

Predicament (4/6)

4)  Elizabeth and her children lived alone in a house,

They were isolated and vulnerable,

She had lost her spouse,

One evening a car came down the lane,

Why was someone there this late,

Were they lost, needing help, or slightly insane,

Men got out and approached the door,

She called 911. “I need help.  What should I do?”

“Please stay on the line and I’ll send car twenty-four,”

The intruders weren’t friends nor were they her kin,

They weren’t listening when she yelled, “Go away!”

It was quite a predicament she was left in,

Were they there to hurt the children or do her some harm,

The door was caving, someone crashed through,

And was met by the shotgun she carried in one arm,

Determination was clearly written on her face,

She would protect her children and her home,

A woman with a gun wasn’t out of place,

What would he do because he had a choice,

But he was a man full of manly pride,

And he ignored her warning voice,

When he continued to advance,

She pulled the trigger without hesitation,

She had warned him not to take a chance,

The intruder was stopped there in his spot,

The voice on the line returned,

“Ma’am, are you okay, I heard a shot,”

She replied, “Yes, I’m okay,

But the intruder is not,”

“Please stay on the line and wait,

An officer should be there shortly,

He’ll need to investigate,”

A woman alone looked like easy prey,

But when her children were threatened,

The adage was proven, crime doesn’t pay.

 

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