Dead Mouse on the Doorstep

I couldn’t take one more step.  Two days ago, it was a chipmunk, then a head, a foot, and a brushy chipmunk tail, which someone wanted for their chipmunk tail collection.  Alas, they moved too slowly, and it was horked down by Griselda, who also grabbed the head and brought it in the house.  Thankfully, she surrendered it without a fight.  Tom, on the other hand, would have fought tooth and nail for it, and he would have won.  I just hope there are chipmunks left when Francis the cat leaves off.  Like any self-respecting cat, he brings them to the back door for our delectation: his idea of a trophy.  ‘See what a good provider I am?’  I praise him; there is nothing else to do.  Sometimes, if I get there and it’s still alive and not too badly injured, I intervene.  He doesn’t understand that; I’ll explain when he gets older.

The field is dotted with woolly bears, quick and dead.  We had a discussion, the kind that bends my mind inside out – are they black on the tips and brown in the middle, or brown on the tips and black in the middle?  We have established that the size of the middle band seems to be individualistic.  Maybe they switch the brown and black bands from year to year, just to mess with our heads.

It rained last Thursday evening, softly, gently, oddly for fall.  Friday morning was crisp and Tom was excited to be out.  Walking down the road, there were patches of dead frogs, including one that was a screaming green and yellow; albeit just a patch now.  On the path, I counted six dead moles inside of a half mile.  No sign of injury or disease: they simply crawled out onto the path and died to become food for something else.  I have heard that moles are poisonous.  I know that Dinah will catch and kill them, but will leave them (they’re both so generous).

We live in a smart squirrel zone, however.  I sometimes wonder if it isn’t squirrel paradise: ancient walnut trees (one risks getting bopped on the head with a tennis ball of a nut this time of year).  I’ve never seen a squirrel get hit by a car either.  They multiply.

It seems I’m noticing the carnage more than usual; I have carnage on the mind.  It’s the season for it.

This election is becoming breathless as it nears the denouement.  It’s exhausting to watch.  Ordinarily, I find the spectacle of people losing their tempers mildly amusing.  This is getting out of hand.  It’s the politics of umbrage.  Those who are easily offended tend to have little self-respect.

The dogs and I were out in the field late this morning.  It’s normally mowed in August, but was left to tall prairie until October.  They played hide-and-seek all summer, spy-hopping to see where the other had gone, hoping to surprise.  We walked down deep alleys, content not to forge a new path, settled in the foregone.  But now it’s wide open and it’s boggling Griselda’s brain.  She stares off into the distance, searching for prey.  There is a red-tail that she’d like to chase; sometimes she trails his flight path.  She searches along the fence, and then stares off into the distance again until she can stand it no longer and goes off at full speed.  She’ll come back, because there’s really nothing there, but she has to run.

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