Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Killer Instinct

My lot seems to be some kind of Happy Hunting Grounds for the food chain. Animals come from all over the city to die here. And I don't do Dead Things, period. (At least, nothing bigger than a spider.) When my neighbor Susie was alive, bless her heart, she was my animal undertaker for anything squirrel-sized or smaller. That was almost everything: squirrels, birds, mice, chipmunks, bunnies. Only once* was there a critter beyond her ken.

Miss Molly, my sweet little petunia of a pup, has a killer instinct that apparently cannot be tamed. Several years ago, she killed two chipmunks and a squirrel in less than three weeks. This was after Susie's death; I imposed on three different neighbors to cart off the carcasses. A few weeks later, Miss Molly tried to get another squirrel, but somehow the beast turned around and bit her before she could assassinate it. She got a bloody fat lip for her trouble, and seemed to have learned her lesson.

And life has been peaceful since then. The occasional dead bird, of natural causes, but nothing more than that... until yesterday. Molly managed to snag another chipmunk, and I had to impose on yet another neighbor to "save me" from this palm-sized Dead Thing. Maybe she's punishing me for being a quasi-vegetarian?

*The Big Beast: For several years, I had a compost pile in "the north forty," a small patch on the far side of my garage. One day I happened to notice a very large brown furry thing had apparently died right on top. Susie eyed it from 20 feet away and deemed it Too Big; certainly much bigger than a squirrel. I recruited my neighbor Dan, shamelessly impugning his manhood if he dared refuse, and he puffed up and rose to the task. A few minutes later, Dan knocked at my front door.

"You said the compost heap, right?" he asked.
"The one in back of the garage?"
"Right..." and I noticed he had the shovel in his hand.
"OMIGOD," my brain was doing cartwheels. "He's brought the Dead Thing on to my PORCH!"
"Then I guess this is what you were talking about..."
He started to turn the shovel toward me as I started to scream.
And then he reached over and GRABBED the Dead Thing! In his hand! And held it up for me to see!
It was a giant, brown furry...TEDDY BEAR!

He and Susie nearly laughed themselves into seizures, and never tired of retelling the story of how I was saved from a ferocious dead Teddy Bear.

1 comment:

StephB said...