This past weekend, while making pancakes for the post sleepover breakfast, I spied a hefty ground hog, a mama bunny and her baby eating the clover that make up back lawn. They were all a far distance from the house and I laughed thinking that Marlin Perkins and his Mutual of Omaha wild life team could not be far behind. For this summer, our backyard seems to have it's share of guests. Chipmunks under the porch. Field mice, voles and moles running through the garden on the hill. The rabbits nesting under the garden shed, and a ground hog, which I have seen lumbering under the 6 foot stockade fence that surrounds the backyard.
This year, I had no fear about my garden. For I had planted beets, peas, corn, lettuce, green beans, basil, tomatoes and zucchini within a fenced in enclosure, safely tucked right up next to the house. Unlike last year, when the garden was under constant attack of slugs and ground hogs, the plants were growing beautiful and lush. I had peace. Let the bunnies and the woodchuck have the yard and the abandoned unfenced garden behind the shed. All is good. Live and let live.
And that was my philosophy until yesterday when I went out to my little patch of vegetable heaven and noticed someone has been eating my pea plants and beet tops. Aghast, and shocked -- I was speechless. Someone had pushed past the fence stake at the corner of the house, traipsed over the zucchini, basil, and tomatoes and ate my pea plants. Then stepping gingerly over the lettuce mowed down my beets.
This is war; a take no prisoners affair. I had turned a blind eye to the munched out brown eyed susans, after all they are suppose to be blooming, unprotected and unguarded on the hill. And I wonder, does this garden prowler think I spend all my gardening time, weeding, watering, and admiring for their gastronomic enjoyment?
I have piled up rocks to close the gap between the house and fence. The outside lights are set to come on when something walks in their path. And I have our trap set and baited with an apple, a gala, smothered with peanut butter; it's eviction time in the city. No longer will I look lovingly out at any beast that grazes the lawn.
Last night as we were going to bed the outside light came on and there, next to the fence was a huge rabbit. Not the six foot kind, but the kind that would fill a nice cooking pot. Probably helped to such a healthy esteem on my vegetables. I yelled. It didn't move. I scratched on the screen. It sat tight next to the fence. I wished for a large rock, but having nothing but clothes and furniture at hand, I went down stairs and walked outside to shoo it away.
"Are you sitting up all night to guard the garden?" my husband asked.
"No," I answered, hoping the trap would have a heart to protect our garden plot. I'm thinking razor wire and electric fencing is next. All of this, just so we can have a few fresh veggies. I wonder if our guests ow and ah and gush, "Oh look, the banquet is being laid out once again. What nice people live in that house."
Note to backyard guests: Not nice anymore.