|An open letter to my garden squatters:
||[May. 3rd, 2004|11:57 pm]
Dear tent caterpillars,|
I don't like to be involved in the killing of anything that isn't 1) food or 2) causing me (or my loved ones) physical threat or extreme mental anguish by being alive. Number 1 is self explanatory: number 2 would include head lice, wild rats living in my house, mold on my vegetables, and cockroaches (which maybe aren't a direct health threat, but creep me out so much that they need to be dead for me to sleep at night).
I wanted to leave you alone and let you be.
Until I saw how much of my tree you'd already stripped bare, and the profligate manner in which you'd created offspring, who would bust out of those dozen coccoons and eat the rest of my tree in no time. It's too bad for you that I'd already lost a tree in last winter's wind storm, and that you have no natural predators to keep your numbers in check, or maybe I'd have been more Jainist about the whole thing. But you had to start wriggling around and making yourself known on the EXACT one-year anniversary of me buying this house and yard, and it's hard for me to sit by idly while you destroy part of something that I'm in hock for for the next 29 years before I can truly call it my own.
Now if you could have just been more like the Valley people (or was it the mountain people?) in that old hippy song about the one tin soldier who rides away and SHARED the tree with me, maybe I wouldn't have had to cut off the branches you'd taken over and put them in the fire pit and doused you with gasoline, ending your lives with seeming callow disregard, as I was really hoping you'd be dead before The Simpsons came on. I'm sorry and I feel badly, but I don't really have any regrets. Here's a tip for next year: if you could develop a taste for a plant no one likes much, like say, blackberry brambles, I think you'd find yourselves with nice full bellies and far less petrol burns.
PS Sorry dandelions, but you're still on my "Final Solution" list.