Good to Know

Warping the Woodland Food Chain

[One side of a conversation that could have happened in waaay too many area homes.]

Aww, cute! All those chipmunks are eating the seeds that fall from the birdfeeder. Wait! Where’s the birdfeeder?

Oh, no, the wrought iron feeder pole is bent in half. The bear that stole the other feeder is back. He’s been ripping up the retaining wall drains again, too. Bummer! We quit sprinkling corn for the turkeys after that bobcat family turned them into fast food. Awful, awful.

At least the bobcats aren’t bothering the deer herd that has expanded from three to sixteen since we started feeding them. Sure hope that wasn’t one of ours that the neighbor hit last night. At least it didn’t go through his windshield.

And what about all those young groundhogs on the security video. Cute, huh?

 Nooo, I’ve never even heard of wood rats! Why aren’t the coyotes catching those instead of squirrels? Although we could do with fewer since they keep invading the attic along with the racoons. I swear one of them brought over a possum to see his place last week.

No, the whole house is mothball-scented already. Anyway, aren’t those toxic?

Oh, but Darling, if I don’t toss dinner scraps off the deck for the bears the garbage begins to really smell up the garage and you know that draws mice in.

Well, yes! I’m seeing a lot more snakes this year, too. You’ve said it’s because the birdfeeder also feeds rodents, but—

ME!?!? Raising mice? Inviting in squirrels? Snakes? What? How am I going to get a bear killed?

Yes, I suppose I do want them to run away from me rather than. . .

“Nuisance” bears? Taken where? Or, what?

 Oh, not that.

Would you get us some of the jalapeno-sauced bird seed then? And I’ll start freezing any smelly scraps til garbage day.

Not funny! I never thought of it as killing them with kindness. I meant to share with our furry neighbors. You get the peppery bird seed; I’ll call that wildlife wrangler for the noise in the attic. And the snakes. Are mice wildlife?