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A truce

03/23/2011 @ 12:56pm

Mother Nature, I’m willing to call a truce if you are.

I’m an easy guy to get along with, but I have to admit that you’ve been getting on my nerves.  I can take a joke, but when I look at the 8,000 inches of snow still in our yard, all placed there by winds in excess of 400 miles an hour, I’m having a little trouble finding my sense of humor.  And let’s not even mention that the daytime temperatures in January and February were roughly the same as the dark side of the moon. I’m past that - let bygones be bygones, I say.

I didn’t think that the fruit trees gnawed down to stubs was funny.  And, Mother Nature, I believe we can all acknowledge that your little rabbit minions came out on the short side of that competition. I know there are people who would say my reaction was excessive, but my response to that is that the rabbits had their chance.  I carefully explained, at the top of my voice, that I'd be willing to feed all the rabbits on my farm all the cracked corn they could eat if they’d just leave my fruit trees alone.  Did they listen?  No.  And I would have thought what happened to the rats after I made them the same offer would have been a cautionary tale.  Just for future reference, if you’re going to eat a fruit tree I’ve been nurturing for five years, you shouldn’t do it while I’m standing on my front step, holding a rifle.  And a word to the wise – that goes for everyone, not just rabbits.

But I’m past all that.  What’s getting me down now is our flock of skunks.  Philosophically, I have nothing against skunks.  If they don’t bother me, I don’t bother them.  They’re actually kind of pretty, from a distance.  I don’t even mind them lurking around the house in the dark – they eat mice, bugs, and other things that I don’t want in my house, so as far as I’m concerned, they can just chow down. 

I’ve explained all this to the skunks and I think I’m being perfectly reasonable - even neighborly - so what’s up with stinking up my yard?  I understand it’s a defense mechanism, but there’s nothing for the skunks to be scared of; they could keep their little scent glands to themselves.   Do you have any idea how hard it is to concentrate on “Biggest Loser” or “Dancing with the Stars” with the smell of distraught skunk filling the air in every direction?  And it does diminish some of the pleasure of dinnertime conversation when one person is silently retching.

I’m sure the skunks are so active because they’re hungry.  They’ve been napping for a couple of months and wakened with quite an appetite, and this time of year pickings are still a little slim, unless they can sneak up on an unwary Canadian goose.  However, this is not my fault.

So, Mother Nature, talk to your skunks.  Get them to do their hunting, and spraying, somewhere far away from my house.  If you don’t, things could get ugly.  If you don’t believe me, you can just ask the rabbits and rats. Oh, wait, no you can’t. 

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