24 May 2011
Too Much Nature
It's no secret that I've struggled with the onslaught of nature in my new home. And I LOVE nature. I really do. I'm very nature-y. But it turns out that there can be too much nature.
Here's a good example:
This morning I was eating my grape nuts when I heard a tumbling thud out on my deck. I look out the window to see a cat (I think?) who seems to have landed (from where? I don't think that's a cat) on my deck with a fresh kill in his mouth. It's way too big to be mouse or a chipmunk so I don't even want to imagine what it could be. It's dangling, no- swinging, out of his mouth. The "cat" sees me in the window and looks at me like "F*@k off. This is mine."
This is too much nature.
And it's going to ruin my day because he turned and ran, mystery animal swinging from his mouth, and slid under my deck. Where he remains. Possibly under my feet as I write this. Gnawing and dismembering his prey for me to find later.
It's not that I'm squeamish or fearful of animals. Just this week I chased down a frog in my house and delivered him safely outside. I always go after frogs and toads with enthusiasm - because frogs are cool. But, still, in my head I'm saying "frogs don't bite, frogs don't bite."
It's just that I have my limits. Unidentified animals is one. Animal on animal violence is another. These are things you generally don't see on the sidewalk.
Audible gunfire is another. Not like I prefer the sophisticated silencers of criminals but more like if I can hear you, you're too close. I've written before about gunfire in my backyard - but how about gunfire on the playground? Does that bother you at all?
Because it horrifies me. Pow after pow after pow and everyone just stands there like it's not happening. We are standing on the edge of the playground waiting for our children to emerge from the after school nature program - emerge from the WOODS! Where the guns are! - and it sounds like gang warfare. Would you ignore gang warfare or would you call 911?
Don't worry, people say. It's just hunters. Or it's just the gun club.
I'm still internally panicked. Have you not heard of a "stray bullet?" Bullets don't stop at the fence, you know!
And all the parents just stand there like they don't hear a thing. I look at each person searching for someone, just one person, who is registering alarm. Someone who will grab me by the lapels of my old fashioned suit jacket and scream "What's going ON??!!" And I would scream back, "This is not RIGHT! There should be RULES! Why isn't there a rule against listening to gunfire on the playground???!!!!"
And it really bothers Mike that it bothers me. Really really bothers him. Borderline "getting angry at her" bothers him.
"Do you know how far away that is?" he asks, irritated.
"I don't know. At the neighbor's house?"
So we get in the car and he drives me past the gun club. It's about 3 miles away and across 2 major roads. And I feel better..................because bullets can't cross streets.
No, really, I do feel better because it's much farther away than I thought. But wait, is there a street separating the gun club and the playground? Crap!
And there are still 2 unidentified animals killing each other under my deck.
I think I'll stay inside today.
(Epilogue: Just as I finished this, my furnace turned on with a roar. And I JUMPED and turned to face the...............what? Like there's a lion in my house? I don't know! Maybe! Omigod, I'm going down the rabbit hole. Which will be empty because the rabbit probably got eaten under my deck.)