Dumb Wildlife

For the third day in a row I’ve had to pull a pile of twigs out of my newspaper box. Some clueless but determined bird fills it up about as quickly as I can empty it. While I don’t mind a persistent bird as much as persistent hornets, who continue to try to establish a hive in the eaves over the kitchen window despite the fact that I keep blasting it off with the hose, obviously I cannot allow wildlife to nest in the newspaper box. Even if I had the carrier throw the paper in the driveway until the baby birds had hatched and flown away, the mailbox is part of the whole setup, and I can’t have some territorial mother bird dive-bombing the mail carrier. I am not going to the post office to pick up my mail just because a stupid bird can’t figure things out.

One fall some Swifts built a nest in my chimney. They made a racket up there and, convinced it was a raccoon, I sent up an exterminator, only to find out that Swifts are protected and cannot be removed from your chimney no matter how much they annoy you. You just have to put up with it until the whole family picks up and flies away. Forget about having a fire.

I don’t know why the creatures of this earth want to torment me. There was a turtle in the garage last week. It had parked itself under the car and I was afraid to back out, because the last thing I need to come home to is a dead turtle. I think it’s the same one that’s been hanging around since Mother’s Day, when daughter Jessica spotted it in the driveway and made her boyfriend John reluctantly put it in a bucket and then transfer it into a plastic kiddy pool to show the grandkids; except that it looked so pathetic trying to scramble up the sides of the pool that they let it go and it crawled off into the raspberry bushes to hide, which was ridiculous because any one of my grandchildren could have been the inspiration for Lord of the Flies. Well, not Grace.

Since then I have seen the turtle plowing through the grass, parked on the front walk and lurking in the rock garden. Yesterday it was back in the raspberry bushes. At least I think it’s the same one. They all look the same, green and neurotic. Stalked by a turtle, besieged by things that fly. No wonder I’m a mess.

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