Friday, June 6, 2008

I must confess

I've been struggling to put into words for some time my discovery that everything I do or think is just a natural response to my particular socio-economic situation and therefore thousands upon thousands of other people are doing and thinking the same things, no matter how unique I may think I am.

Generally, my guidebook in this existential journey is a publication called the New York Times. Day after day, they publish articles that neatly illustrate activities and thoughts that I have recently "discovered", usually quoting 3 or 4 people from different East coast communities to really illustrate the breadth of the trend.

What can I say? I'm white people.

So seeing this article, concerning the ethical struggles (or lack thereof) gardeners have with varmint-killing, was especially liberating from a garden-blogging perspective.

Concerned that garden-blog readers might not have a lot of crossover with killers of woodland creatures, I might have gone forever without ever writing about the recent time I borrowed a friend's high-powered pellet gun and took a rushed shot at a squirrel lurking around the cantaloupe bed.

I managed only to hit him in the left-front paw, which gave me the chance to fast-track all the ethical dilemmas I had glossed over during my rush to grab the gun. I did all that thinking while gathering up my gloves and a hammer on my way out to visit my new friend who was catching his breath by the back fence. However by the time I got out there, he was gone. I've since seen him scurrying on the fence and power lines with a tell-tale limp.

However, knowing what I know about demographic fatalism, now verified by the NYT, I can tell the story safely with the knowledge that gardeners everywhere are happily shooting, beating with shovels, drowning in rain barrels, snapping the necks of and otherwise killing all manner of squirrel, rabbit, mole, woodchuck and snake on a daily basis.

Hell, with only one gimped squirrel under my belt, I'm a regular Francis of Assisi.

I will say the squirrels have not touched a single tomato so far this year. Maybe they just need some more time to find them, maybe my experiments with cayenne pepper and pepper spray are having some effect.

Or just maybe Squirrelly Tremain is out there telling his friends which yard not to fuck with.

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Blogger Stacey said...

I'm still a bleeding heart, despite this being round three of tomatoes since Mother's Day. I'm trying the dried blood approach.

June 6, 2008 6:12 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...


I'm sure there's an ironic point to be made about spreading dried cow/pig blood instead of shedding squirrel blood, but I understand the difference.

I haven't decided yet whether I have it in me to kill cute mammals, but the experience gave me a good point of reference.

And I'm not ready to credit the pepper spray and dried cayenne yet, but they've left everything alone so far, so I'm going to stick with that approach for now.

June 15, 2008 8:45 PM  
Blogger Melanie said...

All of your squirrel thieves are now raiding my garden. I've already requested the loan of your squirrel-killing terrier.

I've thought about the dried blood thing since my dad suggested it last month. I joked about taking it further with a squirrel-on-a-stake, "this could happen to you" approach, but I cannot in good conscience kill a squirrel or any other fuzzy critter.

However, I no longer slow down or swerve to avoid any squirrel that runs in front of my car in the street.

June 19, 2008 8:04 PM  
Blogger spelled with a K said...

Believe me if I had one around I'd have probably gimped the feral cat that roams the neighborhood, thus far she's taken out half my pea vines and beheaded or defoliated all but about 3 amaranth plants. She doesn't seem to bother with squirrels, as they roam the neighborhood with impunity, but she does like the occasional fish snack...from our pond.

I've been a vegetarian for 10 years, but given the opportunity...I shudder to think what I would become of that stinkin cat. Anyone know of any good cat traps?

July 9, 2008 9:07 AM  

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