Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Enslaved By Wildlife

I never even saw it coming. It happened slowly and gradually, like the glaciers when they came creeping across North America. I suppose looking back, this has been going on for most of my life but I never realized the extent of it until this morning. The animals have taken over my life.
As I poured my coffee a few minutes ago I paused to look out my kitchen window. There is a fantastic view of the yard, flower garden and bird feeders. Underneath those bird feeders, like hungry lions circling a fresh kill, were the ducks. They hang out like a gang of street thugs, waiting for the smaller birds to scatter down seeds to them.
My intent upon installing the bird feeders was not to feed ducks. In fact, we don't even have any ducks. These Muskovies migrated from up the creek and moved in with us like unwanted house guests. They've taken over the yard, they eat anything that grows in the garden, they poop on my sidewalk and porch, they eat Old Bud's dog food out of his dish. They will even swim in the water that collected on the winter cover of our swimming pool. The Muskovies have got to go. There is a new gang of ducks in town and I'm hoping there will be a territorial overthrow. The new ducks are black with green heads. They're domestic but I'm not sure what kind. (Not Mallards, we have those too from time to time. Er, that is, they have us.)
Sitting also underneath the birdfeeder I spotted my little buddy, Chippy. Chippy (a chipmunk, I'm sure you guessed) has decided that my flower planting skills are not up to par and so he made a few modifications of his own. Apparently in preparation for winter last year, Chippy squirreled away loads of sunflower seeds and buried them in random locations for later use. Those seeds have sprouted and the result is small clusters of sunflowers here and there. I have to hand it to Chippy, this was a wise investment. Perhaps instead of investing in my 401K I should have just given my money to Chippy. By not eating those seeds and planting them instead he will be the equivialent of a chipmunk billionaire when these flowers bloom in the fall. And my bees will be happy about that too. Yes. I have honey bees. Yet another creature to which I am enslaved.
I turned away from the kitchen and went into the living room. From there I peeked through the window onto my front porch. On my porch swing, a robin has built a nest and is now sitting on eggs. On my swing. Where I like to sit. When I first saw the nest I thought it was a joke. Kind of like a tester nest. For beginners. Low to the ground, easy to get to. But then she moved in and there she stayed. Her hubby stops by every now & then to check on her progress & see how the kids are doing. So no more porch swing till this bunch hatches & I can ditch the nest.
I turned around & tripped over the cat who was there to let me know that IT WAS TIME TO EAT NOW. For an animal that can't talk she can get her point across emphatically when she wants to. So I fed Fat Gladys. She more or less runs the house, I'm just here to dish out the food & change the litter.
My chickens in the hen house have staged a coup and will not let me collect eggs without a tussle. When I bend down to collect what's been layed under the roost, Meanie hops up on my back and sticks there. When I reach around to brush her off she pecks my hands. The best I can do is flail around until she decides the fun is over and hops off on her own. The other chickens think this is hilarious. I can hear them cackling the whole way back to the house.
My coffee is now gone and I'm thinking of going for a little run. I like to go for 3-5 mile runs but that has been limited lately. My dog went deaf but he still insists on going along. The problem is, he can only keep up for the first mile. I've tried sneaking away without him. Deaf as he is, he must be able to smell my sneakers because he still manages to catch me. I even made a clean break the other day and was a quarter mile down the road when I heard his toenails clicking on the pavement behind me. He looked at me and grinned as if to say "Hey Mom! Don't worry, I'm coming!" Great. There is no aspect of my life, save my job, that is not run by animals. Roll my eyes and grumble as I may, I must admit, I sort of enjoy it.

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