Man Versus Animal Kingdom
Beatrix Potter didn’t know when she created the character of Mr. McGregor in The Tale of Peter Rabbit that he would still be alive and kicking all these years later. It’s true. Mr. McGregor lives not only in Beatrix Potter’s picture book, but he also has been reincarnated into my husband.
Yesterday I saw my husband chasing a rabbit out of our garden and through the yard. Visions of Mr. McGregor shouting, “Stop thief!” ran through my mind.
My husband is very protective of our yard. When animals appear where they’re not supposed to appear, something happens to the wonderfully calm man I know and love. So far this year, our yard has been host to Peter Rabbit, Tom Turkey, Robin Redbreast, a bevy of voles, a strange looking chipmunk, and a flock of crows. I think the animals secretly got together and decided to turn our yard into “The Animal Kingdom.”
Peter Rabbit began by munching on our flowers and then proceeded to the garden which is now his favorite spot.
Tom Turkey likes to poop on our front porch, run through our yard, and play hide and seek in our bushes.
Robin Redbreast built a messy nest in the front gutter and dive-bombs anyone who walks in front of the house.
The voles skitter across the pathways when they think no one is looking, the chipmunk has established a command post on our rock wall, and the grubs hiding in the lawn are being attacked by a pack of gigantic crows.
This menagerie has created quite a stir in our house. My husband has purchased disgusting sprays to keep the voles and chipmunks at bay. He has added more chicken wire to our garden to keep Peter Rabbit out. He swears at Robin, and when he sees the other critters in our yard, he bolts out the door like a crazy man to scare them away.
I just sit and watch… It’s going to be a long summer in our animal kingdom!
In the meantime, check out these books.
There Is a Bird on Your Head! by Mo Willems (Hyperion, 2007), Birds by Kevin Henkes and illustrated by Laura Dronzek (Greenwillow Books, 2009), I’m a Turkey! by Jim Arnosky (Scholastic Press, 2009), Rabbits and Raindrops by Jim Arnosky (Puffin, 2001)