Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Coexist II - Creatures of the Earth

I wonder why squirrels look so shocked to see a human in their path. You'd think by some evolutionary process they would collectively realize that we ignore them. Did you know that a squirrel without hair looks exactly like a rat - the only difference is that squirrels leap and hop and play - rats slink.

Here are some of my animal encounters: A bird got caught in the wall of my apartment. They had to cut a hole in the wall to get it out. A blackbird entered the kitchen of my first house through a gap in the aluminum siding. I was so panicked, having little children, that it took me forever to figure out I just had to open the door. That same luxury palace had raccoons yank back the shingles to get in the attic.

The next house was far from animal-proof as well. Raccoons came down the chimney and left tiny handprints in the fireplace. Luckily there were glass doors to keep them from joining us for dinner. That house was visited by a rat (I still shudder). It came through a basement drain and then through a hole by a radiator to feed on birdseed under the canary cage. We got a rat trap.

Now I live in a wooded area. My little 30 lb. dog, Stella, had a hostile encounter with a buck this summer. I imagine he was protecting a family in the woods. He stood firmly in the middle of the backyard as Stella charged towards him. As she moved under his belly, he reared up like a bucking horse while I screamed from the deck. Stella escaped unharmed, but shaken. Now she does not joyfully bark at a deer sighting, but growls, hair standing straight up on her back. She ran to the door upon seeing a coyote in the backyard last year.

I doubt when God created all living things, and gave humans dominion over the earth, that included culling deer as they do in our city. People chop down trees, bulldoze brush, pave, build and then shoot deer for looking for food in our yards. My belief is that nature will take its course and thin out the herd in time. I saw a deer start to cross the street this week, look both ways and turn back. Humans interfering in nature always messes up the balance.
Can't we all just coexist? :)

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