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  • Writer's pictureEdie Montreux

Tiny Sacrifices to the Nature Gods

This is Little Dog. Little Dog jumped four-foot fences, hence the six-foot fence behind him in this photo. We learned he jumped fences when he caught a rabbit in our neighbor's yard and hopped the fence back to our yard to show off his off-the-charts prey drive and awesome killing ability.

Backyard animals beware: Little Dog is no longer on leash patrol, and he is Flash-fast. He's caught two chipmunks this week and cornered a third in a downspout today. These are teenagers, not quite full grown and naive little fucks. They've been after my replanted irises (causing Big Dog to catch their scent and dig up my irises, as well). They're a nuisance and I want them gone.

Praise be to Little Dog for eliminating part of the chipmunk problem. This causes a new problem: disposing of furry little bodies. So far, he's done internal damage. No blood. No disemboweled or decapitated bodies. I'm grateful for that.

Lemur usually handles chipmunk disposal. Yesterday, I was working from home and had no idea there was a chipmunk in the downspout until there was a chipmunk in Little Dog's mouth. Big Dog, meanwhile, was still pawing at the downspout looking for his own mouthful of chipmunk. There was only one. Again, so grateful.

We want to be humane. Lemur usually brings the spade down on the rodent's neck to make sure it's well and truly dead before tossing it over the back fence. I tried. Really, I did. It was looking at me. I said a little prayer for it and sent it off to the big chipmunk hunt in the sky (wishing a good hunt for Old Man Dog, who also loved to catch chipmunks). I'm pretty sure the pressure I used wouldn't have done a damn thing - it was dead already. I scooped it up onto the spade and headed for the back fence.

We share a fence with commercial property. I love this for the huge back yard. I hate it because we share a property line with a building containing a (loud, inconsiderate, sometimes dangerous) bar and a pizza delivery place. A few years ago, the property owner put up their own fence to create a bar patio area. There's a good ten yards between our fence and theirs which has become no man's land. Someone mows half of it. I'm guessing it's the owner of the rental property sharing the corner with us. They don't get past the grove of trees in the middle. Beyond the dense copse of mulberry and walnut trees, there be trash, overgrown weeds, vines, and a plethora of what the city would call eyesores. Occasionally, a homeless person decides to bed down for the night. Our city's finest won't find anyone in that mess.

Is that a reason to litter dead chipmunk bodies back there? No, it's really not. If the city wants to fine me for natural waste disposal (I also pitch black walnuts over the fence so my dogs won't eat them), I will pay it, as long as they get the assholes who own that land to clean their shit up.

Until then, I'll continue making tiny sacrifices to the nature gods beyond the fence.

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