Aug 12, 2008

The All-You-Can-Eat Woodchuck Buffet

My son came to me the other morning and said he saw a furry brown animal in my vegetable garden but he wasn't sure if it was a woodchuck or a beaver. Well, even though we have a wetland very close to our house, and while beavers could in theory be living within its vicinity, I seriously doubted that it was a beaver eating my veggies. We do have a rabbit, which is also brown, who lives beneath our barn and who last year decimated most of the echinacea in my field garden. (Not to get completely off the subject here, but for some reason the rabbit chose only to eat the most beautiful and colorful of my coneflowers: the nearly neon pink and orange ones that I paid quite a bit of money for and which to no one's surprise, by the same token, chose to completely ignore the more traditional and commonplace purple ones that were given to me by a friend and which of course cost me nothing).

So now it's later in the day and the sun is setting all fiery orange and red and as I stood at the kitchen sink, and I asked David if it was possible for Griffin to not be able to tell the difference between a woodchuck and a rabbit, and as he was about to reply, I could see the greenery part in my vegetable garden and a rather large furry, brown mammal of some sort settle in for a nosh. It's timing couldn't have been more impeccable. Now the vegetable garden is quite a distance from the house, and David's eyes are better than mine, so I said, "Quick! Look out the back door window and tell me if that's the woodchuck." He did, and it was. The bastard! (the woodchuck, not David)

Now I thought it would be nice to get a photo of the little thief caught in the act of stealing my tomatoes, but the woodchuck was having none of that. When I went outside he was standing on his hind legs, whistling a merry tune (he was literally whistling a song in some sort woodchuckian form of bliss) while he happily gobbled up tomato after tomato. And then when he decided that I wasn't going to get any closer to him, he turned and headed for the hedge to make his getaway. But right before he ducked through the bushes, he turned and looked at me with one very ugly expression on his little face and I swear if he'd had arms, he'd have shaken a tiny fist at me before turning and making his exit. Like I have some nerve interrupting his freeloading ass filling up on my vegetables.

I was thinking that it would be nice to catch him so I could have a nice little chat with him, Chuck to Woman, just to let him know that I don't appreciate his stealing the best of my beautiful veggies, but it wouldn't matter anyways because the garden is now completely ruined for me for this season. There's no way I'm eating anything that comes out of there because I just know that even if he hasn't has his mouth on everything out there, he's most likely touched everything with his dirty little woodchuck feet while carefully choosing which tomatoes and peppers were the juiciest and most tantalizing to his witsy bitsy little brain. And just that thought alone is enough to send me to the grocery store until the first frost. Damn woodchuck.

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