Life astray.
By Sue Langenberg

I like to think that I am earth-friendly in a way that accepts all creatures, great and small. After all, we are all here together and need to somehow accept each other.
I am therefore most forgiving about accosting various creatures. There are exceptions, however. Like the time that I came home from work late at night and heard some rustling in the garage. I figured an enterprising mouse or some sort of minor creature would find some juicy dessert in the trash. Maybe an enticing spider web or whatever their prey.
No, it was a busy skunk and had I known such, I probably would have slept in an airtight car or called emergency via cell phone to report that I would likely expire from fear within ten minutes without an escort. But it turned out that Mr. Skunk was as afraid of me as I was of him. We both tip-toed away from each other, wide-eyed with the creeps.
So then I noticed a charming long-haired tortoise-shelled cat that frequents my house. She skirts the area, sniffs whatever is around and seems to think that my front porch is a home base. So naturally, I put out some high-end food for her to eat. I had great intentions that I would save her and we would become great friends. By the next evening, a raccoon was happily feasting on the expensive cat food. He scampered away when he saw me glare.
And, of course, a certain Mr. Rabbit thinks that I have planted my tomatoes, peppers and various veggies for his personal daily feast. He even chomped off the heads of the hostas earlier in the spring as they rose from the ground. In the days when I had a patrolling outdoor cat, he wasn’t so comfortable. In fact, he probably is related to the unfortunate rabbit souls that ended up as prizes on the back porch.
I also heard a noisy rat-a-tat-a-tat suspiciously too close. It turned out to be a woodpecker eyeing my house like a next meal. And some ugly black birds found their way into my attic a few summers ago. No thanks.
And the larger things named “Bambi” that stare in the headlights or even crash the headlights are also off my generosity list.
The smaller things that give me the creeps are the ants and spiders that manage to find their way toward whatever I have to offer. I recently took out a caulk gun and ran an airtight line in so many doorways and windows that I conveniently forgot that I am supposed to be able to get in and out of the house.
And about those (shudder) flying nightly things with teeth, well never mind. Also never mind those pesky (shudder) roaches and (shudder) rats.
The various jungles that support lions, tigers and bears (oh my) can stay where they are, also. I guess the mindset of those who take them in to raise assume that they will be domesticated like a dog or cat. Then, surprise, surprise, when the thing ruthlessly turns against them with teeth, claws and every other nature weapon. Poisonous snake lovers seem to have the same fate.
So I am certainly earth-friendly and appreciate all things great and small. Except, of course, hungry skunks, elite raccoons, feasting Mr. Rabbit, ugly black birds, ants and spiders, house-peckers, “Bambi” and (shudder) bats, rats, roaches and those that dwell in the jungle (oh my). The earth is otherwise a great place to live if these things stay away from my house. I am also quite sure that they don’t like us around their dwellings.