Sometimes I have to remind myself that I live in the city. Metro Detroit is stuffed full of people and cars and noise and even though I have a green yard and big pine trees and a nice view of an imposing verdant hedgerow across the street, sometimes I just have to remind myself.
Particularly when I lovingly nurture sunflower seeds into little baby plants, protecting them from the changing weather conditions of winter into spring, guarding them with mesh wire until they have grown into mature plants, and then, when I am finally expecting large sunshiny heads, the damn deer eat the tops off. ALL THE TOPS. I live in a TOWN. Where do the deer SLEEP in town?? Or do they bus in from neighboring country sides?
Particularly when I am standing at my kitchen sink in the evening, doing dishes and watching my birdbath garden (now mostly weed-choked) and I see a rustling in the bushes and a bit of white tail. I peer closer, thinking it is a neighborhood cat come to press its butt against my den window and wreak havoc with my two overly sensitive, Prozacked cats. And then out walks a GINORMOUS SKUNK.
Particularly when I notice a terrible stink in the garage, and attribute it to the trash. I was at Jax’s house on trash day last week, so it didn’t get taken out. And I get up on trash day this week and put on my jammies and my pink slippers, and stagger downstairs to pull the trash out to the curb. And when I yank on the overflowing can and see behind it A DEAD CHIPMUNK. The same chipmunk, perhaps, that in less-dead days would hide in my garage and sit on the edge of my recycling bin and mock me. I don’t know how he met his demise but he’d been dead for awhile and was hosting a variety of Hakuna Matata. I stood there in my jammies with my hair corkscrewed from sleep and wondered if I could leave him there til he was just a little flatter. Of course you can’t, I reasoned, you and your CHILD use this garage, this DEAD CHIPMUNK is mere feet away from her little pink bicycle. So I picked up a shovel and gritted my teeth and scraped it off the floor, displacing all aforementioned Hakuna Matata, and carried his dangling sad corpse down to the bin at the curb. Then I felt embarrassed that the trash man would see a dead thing in my bin (which led me to wonder, in my sleep-fuzzed state, what is the worst thing the trash man has seen in a bin?) and went back to rearrange a bag of kitty litter over the top to make it less obvious.
We named the skunk Roscoe.