ME AND THE MINGS
I knew this day would come. I just thought I might get another summer out of it. The burgeoning beauty of my select lettuce varieties must simply have been too much for the drooling deer, who've had to live on conventionally blah weeds and good grief tree bark, and finally had it up to the antlers gazing through my not-antimonkey net fence at my neat rows of appetizing salad lettuces, top-of-the-line cucumbers, spare-no-expense zucchinis and deliciously crunchy beanpods, the apex of feral menu items.
Seems the animals living on the edge of civilization these many decades, deeper and deeper in the thralls of indulgence, have been getting fussier with each generation, becoming ever more accustomed to the finer points of civilized life, such as rap music and fast food. We must have had a similar experience back when we were Neanderthals and the Cro-Magnons moved in next door.
If this keeps up, pretty soon the animals will have urbs and burbs of their own, commuting to offices in their own beastly bureaucracies, the Deer Department, the Monkey Agency, the Inoshishi IRS... For starters, though, last night one or two or three or more deer, maybe seven thousand, found a weak spot in my garden fence, widened it and partied on my lettuce, tangoed on my chard, buzzcut my chives, noshed my nasturtiums, beheaded my cukes, zapped my zukes...
I know there's no point in putting up wanted posters on trees around the forest or even in the post office, with a deer mug shot and my phone number, so I just fixed the fence pro tem - not that it matters, there's always a weak spot in a fence, fences are all just a bunch of holes anyway. I just never had an actual fence before I moved here and took up the folly that is gardening on the edge-- this working hard to feed the wild and thankless animals.
For them, the feast was just laid out there on the carefully prepared banquet table; looked like they partied pretty much through the night; they have really quiet raves, not even a crunch... It must have gone on with subtle munching excitement until well near dawn, but I wasn't even awakened by wild belches. Not until I went out in the morning to get some lettuce did I realize I had to pick up the tab...
Right now I'm pondering new fence plans. I know how the Ming dynasty felt; it didn't work for them, but those were different times. That may sound something like Alfred’s definition of insanity, but I'm not a dynasty. My ambitions are much humbler. Like lettuce.