What you are looking at here are the remains of my green bean plants thanks to a naughty little ground squirrel who breathed his last naughty breath yesterday. Yes, those are four-inch tall green bean sticks. I was about to rip them all out, then I noticed some are sprouting new leaves. Not sure what to do quite yet since there are fifty bazillion ground squirrels that live in the alley next to our house. I did find the hole next to the house where they were getting in and they will no longer have easy access. AND I bought some cucumber plants to replace the peas and beans. It’s simply too hot here in the Sonoran Desert for peas past April. We grew them last Fall with great success. What was I thinking planting them in March??
Anyway, yesterday I was out watering the garden when I heard scurrying on the far side of the yard. Our entire backyard is surrounded with a six-foot high block wall fence. Yes, it’s kind of prison-ish, but it’s what they do here in Phoenix. I dropped the hose and ran for the back door to get our Rat Terrier, Trixie, to come and earn her keep. Rat Terriers are bred for killing rats…. and all related rodents, I was hoping! That poor dog is getting old! The ground squirrel was frozen in place next to my back flower bed, but Trixie couldn’t see it. I threw her toys over there… I threw rocks, hoping the little ball of fur would move and get her attention. FINALLY she sniffed around and when she got within six inches of the demon of destruction, it jumped into the flower bed and the chase was on. Yes, several of my flowers were trampled, but I did not care! Trixie caught it, shook it mercilessly and then left it lying on its back… dead. I thought about laying the carcass on the outside of the block wall to warn all the other fifty bazillion relatives that doom was pending if they crossed the dead body. But I just chucked it over the wall toward the alley.
A few months back I read the book Rabbit Hill to my children. The tale is written from the viewpoint of the rabbits. It had been a long lean year with no people living in the house where they burrowed near. Finally people moved in and planted a huge garden. The rabbits, mice, badgers, squirrels, etc. were wondering what sort of people they would be: trap-setting, pesticide people, or generous, nature-loving people. They ended up being the latter, and at the time of the reading, I was thinking that I was a generous, nature-loving people. Not true, as yesterday’s victory in the garden proved.