- Cedar Koons, MSW, LCSW
As a human I have a natural aversion to rodents. I don’t love the groundhogs who chewed up my prized Mr. Lincoln rose bush. Yesterday I found Mr. Lincoln lying flat, severed at the root. No deep red intensely fragrant roses for me this summer, most probably because the batteries failed in the noisemaker contraption that keeps them away.
I also don’t love the pack rats that always find a way to nest in my garden shed. Last winter they used an expensive shade cloth I had forgotten to secure. It made such soft nest material to raise their babies. What they didn’t chew to bits and mold into a nest they used as a convenient potty nearby. This year they chose a flower pot lined with glove for a cozy nursery. The whole stinky mess had to go in the trash. It might even harbor hanta virus!
I admit to admiring the beavers that still thrive in this valley and amaze everyone with their diligence and engineering. Still, they wreak havoc with our irrigation ditches. For centuries farmers in Northern New Mexico have been been battling with the big glossy aquatic rodents and mostly losing. And no one like how the girdle the trees…
And then there are the ground squirrels that live in my woodpile and come to eat under my bird feeder. They look like someone’s pet they are so glossy and fat and I guess they are my pets after a fashion since I house and feed them. But I’ve heard they might have fleas that carry bubonic plague. I heard someone in the valley had a dog that caught plague…
Rodents. Aversion. Just seeing them makes me mindful I am alive and co-existing with other creatures who have needs at odds with my own. Oh, there goes that cute little bunny!