My parents lived in a smaller Texas town when I was born, and I spent the first few years of my life living in a house whose backyard backed up to a huge field. My brother and I were allowed to play outside without parental supervision, but we had to stay on our yard’s side of the fence.
Because of the field, occasionally we had random wildlife roaming into the yard, and so we always had to be “on alert” in case there was danger around, and to yell and scream as loud as we could if anything happened. So as fate would have it, one chilly autumn afternoon, my brother and I were in the backyard running around, when I spotted it: a snake. Grabbing my brother and hurdling onto our Springer spaniel Barney’s dog house; I followed procedure and began screaming my little head off.
The snake in question was a black garden snake that was less than a foot long, and our dad quickly came out with a garden ho and tossed it back over the fence. We lived to play another day.
Fast forward 18 or so years, and in the suburban neighborhood my parents live in now we have discovered a new troublemaker in the backyard; one who digs holes. It was so destructive, digging narrow holes and pulling up roots, that Animal Control got involved. They suspected an armadillo was the culprit, and sure enough…
They were right. My dad woke up early to get the paper the morning after the trap was set and found this guy trapped. Of course the closest I would get to it was about five feet away, from the safety of our porch. I made sure there was a wall, a fence and clearly a cage separating me from the backyard offender. Don't worry, Animal Control came back to pick it up later the same day and to take it somewhere else, undoubtedly to pester someone else's garden.
I kind of felt sorry for it, after spending years reading about Peter Rabbit's narrow escape from Mr. McGregor's garden. I probably would have had more mercy for it had it had a cute cotton-tail or twitching nose.
I think it is safe to say I'll never be the one running outside with a garden ho.
"I am two with nature."