Just about every day, he will point out something that has found its way to our back lawn. “Look, honey! Rabbits! Aren’t they cute?”
“They’re in the garden,” I’ll point out.
“I know! Look how adorable that little gray one is with the white spot on his nose.”
“That adorable bunny has lettuce breath. And he’s leaving little piles of poop pebbles in the carrot patch. Fetch me the BB gun.”
Honestly, it’s a rabbit. If it were a duck-billed platypus, of course I’d appreciate it more. But I still wouldn’t want it destroying our garden.
Jason also likes to stop and admire the deer that will wander into the yard and nibble on the apple blossoms. Sometimes, he even takes pictures of them.
“Look what was out the kitchen window this morning,” he’ll say, all proud of himself as he shows me an image of a mother doe and her two tiny fawns. “A little family of deer. Aren’t they sweet?”
“They’re dropping Lyme disease ticks all over our lawn! Why didn’t you shoot them?” He never has a logical response to that. I tell you, it’s frustrating as heck.
His weird appreciation for all living creatures is not limited to the destructive wildlife that camp out in our garden. “Stacey! Come quick!” he shouted one day, interrupting me as I was reading Teddy Kennedy’s autobiography, right at the Chappaquiddick part. I put the book down, thinking he’d severed a body part while making a sandwich.
“Are you okay?” I asked, breathless from hobbling down the stairs (my knee still isn’t healed, and physical activity has never been my strong suit “Did you lose a finger? A toe?”
He pointed to a black spot on the kitchen floor, and I squinted to see it clearly. It was a big, fat, hairy spider.
“Have you ever seen a spider like that? Those colors are amazing – and I think it might be a jumping spider! Look at that leg span. That may well be the most amazing arachnid I’ve ever seen. I just had to share it with you. Look at the shape of that abdomen. Do you think its some sort of rare species?”
“I think it’s dead,” I said, squashing it. Honestly, who wants bugs in their house? Gross!
It’s not that I don’t appreciate God’s creatures. I do. Really, nothing would excite me more than spotting a coyote in the back yard. First of all, that would certainly solve our problems with the rabbits and the woodchucks. Second of all, the neighbor has a yappy dog that he leaves on his back patio all night, and the coyote could solve that little problem, too. Show me a nice carnivore in the neighborhood, and you’ll see my appreciation for wildlife blossom.
Our cats stay indoors, of course. But the next time Pugsley barfs up a hairball in my slipper, it might be nice to be able to threaten to feed him to the coyotes. It’s not like I would actually do it. Good Heavens – I’m not barbaric!