Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Danger, Danger

She’s over on the side of the house. The side next to the empty lot where the tall grasses grow. She wants to plant a vegetable garden. She’s already built one raised bed. But before it can be put into place she needs to pull weeds. She’s not technically pulling - she’s hoeing: goring the weeds at their roots and mercilessly ripping them from their homes. The hoe is working wonders. For the past week she had been picking the weeds by hand, one-by-one. Only weeds multiply, like a herd of rabbits; for every weed plucked three grow. Today she’s cleared nearly half the side yard. I’m nearly as smart as other primates, she thinks, me use tools.

But the hoe wasn’t entirely her idea. She had help. You see a cougar was spotted in the neighborhood sprightly chasing a deer through a neighbor’s yard. The hoe, therefore, serves two purposes - weeding and protection. Because, of course, it is dusk. As the world sinks into darkness and the wind whisks cool air over the junipers the temperature becomes once again bearable. A time to weed and a time to hunt. She has the cougar to thank for the hoe.

She is wary as she demolishes the undergrowth. She glances at the tall grasses dancing in the distance. Is it just the breeze? It occurs to her she has on the wrong outfit. Sweats with the word Juicy across the ass might be more appropriate. One tasty steak, right here, bending over for your perusal. Probably not quite the purpose of the pants but not really so far off mark.

And the little dog. The one barking in the driveway. He should have hors d’oeuvre branded on his side. A nice little start to the meal. Goes well with a fine chianti.

There is a cat in the empty lot. She can’t be seen but her whereabouts are easily determined by echolocation. A pair of blue jays flank her every move screaming four letter twitters in her direction. The cat seeks shelter with the woman and the two of them are dive bombed by the birds.

The cat, now safe, plops herself next to the empty lot for a bath. Hmmm, the woman thinks, Emmie didn’t get the memo. No one told her about the cougar; she could predator and prey. The cat glances casually at the birds and continues her grooming.

The woman begins to think of all the possible dangers: lightening, an errant car, a freak accident involving a hoe and a carotid artery. There are many many ways to die. It’d be nice not to know, to be unaware, to plop down in front of fear and take a bath. Because chances are nothing will happen. The worry would be for naught. And then one would be well-groomed and ready for the next adventure.

The woman surveys her plot of land. More than half the weeds are gone. I’ll take the danger, decides the woman, because without the danger I wouldn’t have grabbed the hoe. And without the hoe I'd still have weeds. And besides, if not for danger what would there be to blog about? Yes, everything is just as it should be. Just as it is.


Anonymous said...

It's funny how things work out. I saw a bear yesterday, a live bear about 200 metres away from me. I took pictures but it scared me so bad I hoofed back up the trail until there was a german family between me and the bear. I did warn them of the bear though:)

As for your cat, ignorance can be bliss.

Mrs. B. Roth said...

loved this little post! I saw a baby deer running by a busy street - it scared me a little too - but more because I was afraid I'd hit it and die in a car crash.

earthmama said...

I have shivers running up and down my spine! What you are saying is so true...but I am far too chicken to have stayed! The big cats, especially cougars (!!) are my BIGGEST fear, and I don't know how I would manage having to live with them. The fear is far bigger than the risk, I know this to be true-- in theory, in a cerebral, topical way. But to actually BE in the situation & still hoe those weeds? WOW. You are a brave one! Good for you! Now how, exactly, did you get to this place? I'd love to know...