Saturday, November 17, 2007

It's a Cold, Cruel World

There are many things that you're not supposed to eat, especially children. -- Mary Margaret McBride

That struck me funny, so I had to share. It really doesn't have much to do with today's post (and, a good thing, too).

I probably have an overly rosy view of the wild -- a little Snow White-ish, with bird singing, and raccoons dancing. And I do hate the idea of killing a critter for what I think is no good reason. Hence this story:

Over the past month or two, our lawn has been the lumpy home of a mole. We have a healthy, green lawn and is probably full of yummy bugs (most likely earthworms, since I bought a passel a couple of years ago and I'm sure they've multiplied), so it's almost like we put up a "welcome" sign to the critter.

My DH, who is a fanatic about the lawn, demanded I kill him. I said I would look into non-lethal mole eradication, but I didn't figure we should kill him. Moles are awfully cute and fuzzy. We found one out a couple years ago (actually, I think my dog dug him up) and I carried him far, far away a released him (to the horror of my DH who thought, again, I should have killed him). My luck, this is the same mole.

Anyway... I tried those little stakes that beep (Mole Chasers), and it worked fairly well. They have a much smaller range than the package claims, but the mole didn't come into that area. Until DH lowered the mowing deck too far on the mower and shattered the top. The moment that thing was broken, the mole came back.

I kept hoping the ground would freeze, so I could ignore the problem until next year. But we've had a very mild fall. DH declared I had to buy poison, he'd had enough. I was supposed to go get it last week, but couldn't *ahem* find the time.

Well... Thursday, something happened that took that right out of my hands. As you probably know, I have lots of bird feeders. Now and then, unfavorable birds come by to join in the feast -- grackles, crows, etc. We have a local murder of crows (I love saying that!) who visit regularly. I let them be because they clean the mess on the ground (them and my gray squirrel -- I don't chase him because he doesn't get on the feeders like those rotten red squirrels do). On Thursday, one of the crows was pecking, chowing down on all the seed those sloppy finches and chickadees leave when he did this weird hop, grabbed and flew off.

With the mole.

It's amazing we were even watching (what are the odds? It's not like I spend all day looking out the window!) and amazing the crow found the sucker (who must have stuck his head up for two seconds... bad timing on his part). We weren't sure at first that it was the mole -- it happened pretty fast. We knew it got something small and gray. But I went out later and stomped down all the mole hills and they haven't come back.

So, though part of me is sad for that fuzzy little critter, at least his death served a purpose AND absolved me of the lifetime of guilt I would have felt if I'd poisoned him just so our lawn could be pretty. I never thought I'd be thankful to a crow. Ugh.


My latest story, The Christmas Curse, is in the bottom spot of the overall bestsellers at The Wild Rose Press. I was worried for a bit that I wouldn't hit this time (for the first time!)

It's also number three in the short stories, and number four in all general contemporary sales. So, I can't complain. And Dru sent me the nicest email about it yesterday. Warmed the cockles of my heart. Thanks again, Dru! It's always nice to know that your work is appreciated!


You Are a Chick Rocker!

You're living proof that chicks can rock
You're inspired by Joan Jett and the Donnas
And when you rock, you rock hard
(Plus, you get all the cute guy groupies you want!)

Thank goodness for that! When I was in high school, the Go-Gos were all the rage ("We Got The Beat!") and I wanted to be in an all girl band like crazy. I had a friend who played the drums, and I would sing (not much call for the flute in a rock band...) but we never did manage to find anyone to fill out the numbers. Oh well.



Dru said...

aaawww shucks! Thanks Marianne. Any story that touches me while I'm reading it on the subway is a good story.

I just love nature at it's best. Every body has a place that helps another. Glad that you didn't have to poison the mole.

I'm also a Chick Rocker.

Have a good weekend

Melissa said...

Oh, that mole. Ouch. But it's that circle of life, food chain thing. Good teaching moment, I suppose.

Congrats on your book hitting the list!

I'm a chick rocker too!

groovyoldlady said...

You put the "show" in rock show with your larger than life self.
No doubt, you are all about making good music...
But what really gets you going is having an over the top show.
Glitter, costumes, and wild hair are your thing - with some rock thrown in!

Me? GLAM??? Hahahahahahaha!

I'm with you on the mole thing. Live and let live...But a crow? I've never seen crows go for rodents. Hawks, yes, but never crows. Of course, I have had crows steal potato chips (the WHOLE bag) and attempt to steal my hotdog buns (the whole bag), but not my rodents.


Tori Lennox said...

Darn, I was hoping you'd have a solution for moles! We have a bunch of the little suckers.

I'm a Glam Rocker!

You put the "show" in rock show with your larger than life self.
No doubt, you are all about making good music...
But what really gets you going is having an over the top show.
Glitter, costumes, and wild hair are your thing - with some rock thrown in!

Well... okaaaaay. *g*

Brandy said...

Is it stupid that I still feel sorry for the mole? Ah, nature at it's best, or worst.
Congratulations on the placement of The Christmas Curse!

Have a fantastic day!

Ceri said...

I'm very sad for your mole, but I'm glad that it was a bird and not you who done him in. I hope his death was quick.

I wanted to be a drummer in a girl rock band in the 80's.