Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Pine Tree debris

Mrs_Who's story of cleaning up after Hurrican Ivan (House of Zathras: My Banana Spider Story) reminded me of an adventure I had with one of God's creatures.
Granted, my story isn't as tragic since we had chosen to cut down our trees and not had a major disaster blow through our town... but the close encounter with nature is here, just the same.

Okay, yadda, yadda, yadda...
... monster piles of pine tree branches and logs piled in our backyard. Each piece needed to be dragged to the curb for the city trucks to come by and grind into wood chips.

The husband was at work, the kids were small and of no real use, so I was out dragging branches around all by my lonesome.

The worst creatures we have to worry about in this neck of the woods are deer ticks.
But our yard is usually overrun with bunnies and squirrels and chipmunks as well. (oo! scary!)

So, when I stepped into the center of one pile of brush and felt unfamiliar little claws scurry up my pantleg, I was both surprised and alarmed.
I thought "mouse!"
Then I thought, "RABID mouse!"

I immediately reached for my calf, grabbed a handful of denim and creature, and pulled it as far away from my leg as I could.
It wriggled a little, so I squeezed it harder to keep it from crawling farther up my pants.

Couldn't see it, of course.
It felt about the size of a big mouse. Maybe a chipmunk.


There I stood, half-bent over, holding my pants and the creature.
I couldn't call for help, the kids might have come... and then I'd have to worry about them getting attacked by whatever it is.

And then it occurred to me:
I can't get it out.

I couldn't move the creature as long as I was holding it and my pants, but if I let go of my pants, the creature would most likely run for cover farther up my leg!


The husband was gone, but even if he had been there, what could he have done?

Crap crap!

Only one choice:
Gotta kill it.

I have to squish it.
Right there in my fist.

All by myself.

"God forgive me for harming one of your creatures," I prayed.

And I squeezed.

Didn't want it to suffer...

I squeezed tears out of my eyes as I squeezed the poor little lump in my hand.

"I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sooo sorry!"

Finally, I thought it might be safe to stop.
Slowly, minutely, I lessened my grip ready to clench my fist again if there was the slightest movement or sign of life.

A little bit...

A little bit more...


With tears streaming down my face, I let go of the lump up my leg. And gently reached my hand up my pant leg to retrieve what was left.

It was a twig of pine needles.

Pine needles that had felt like little claws scrambling up my leg.

Good Lord!
Thank God!

I live to fight another day!



jaj said...

You are more brave than I - I would have been hysterically running down the middle of the road screaming.

Roses said...

But, jaj... then the pine needles would've crawled all the way up your pants! :)

Mrs_Who said...

LOL!!! I would have held the lump with one hand, unzipped and wriggled out of my pants with the other...modesty goes out the window when facing an attack by mother nature!

Roses said...

mrs_who, I never even thought of that! That's brilliant!
It makes so much more sense than smooshing an animal...

'Course then I gotta think how embarassed I'd feel after finding out I freaked over a stupid lump of pine needles... AND now I'm wearing underwear for the world to see.

Tink said...

I'm with Mrs. Who. Off the pants would come.

Richmond said...

But what about your super power?!?!

Still though, that would have freaked me out completely...

Roses said...

Richmond: Bah-ha-ha-ha!
But alas, I was my alter ego Uno Pantalones that day.

Tink and Mrs_Who: Apparently, I'm not near as smart as I really should be or used to think I am... but at least I am brave enough to kill my own d@mned pine needles! :D