The sun was bright and high in the sky as I turned the compost pile today. I find few things more satisfying for releasing aggression (not that I have any, of course) than turning a pile of garden refuse, kitchen waste and office paper into food for the garden. As I stuck my pitchfork into the pile, I heard a squeak… and froze. Pulling a little dried grass away from the surface, I found a tiny, eyes-not-yet-opened… baby rat. And after another shuffle of a little more grass, it’s brothers or sisters. Four of them. All blindly scrambling for warmth into each other and trying to avoid the sudden light into their little burrow. Do I need to say out loud how cute they were?
So it’s official. I’m a hypocrite. I could. Not. Kill. The Babies. And yet, I will absolutely eat meat that is packaged in one way, shape or form. Hey, even local meat has to come in a package. Even my own chickens. Can’t kill ’em. Would if I HAD to, but don’t, so can’t bring myself to do it.
The worst part is that two days later I go out to check on the hens and the coop. I putz around in the coop for awhile, cleaning, tucking up the hawk netting and checking their water. There were seven eggs in the coop and I figured I’d wait an hour or two to make sure no one else wanted to lay. Less than two hours later I head back to the coop only to discover no eggs, no trace of eggs. None. The hens didn’t get them because I can’t see one single trace of egg yolk or shell. But rats could have rolled them through the big hole I discover in a corner of hay. What do I do? March straight up to the shed for the rat poison to kill the suckers dead for getting my eggs.
Okay, so I’m a Gemini and the twins are alive and well