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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Applying Lessons of the Middle East to Lawn Care

A Heavily-Armed Vole Confronting a Snake in Body Armor
If You Think It's Easy Drawing a Snake in Body Armor,
I Suggest You Try it Yourself
When it comes to the Middle East, we're between Iraq and a hard place.  Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!  Actually, that was probably the funniest line in the whole blog, so I don't blame you if you stop reading it right here.

Anyway, I've decided to apply the lessons learned from our foreign policy in the Middle East to lawn care.  A couple of years past, you see, we began to have serious trouble with voles.  They tunneled under our rose bushes and killed at least one.  That's when I began encouraging snakes.  We used to have a cat who took care of the voles - by take care of, of course, I mean ate - but I don't intend to get another cat, and besides, snakes are full-time vole-catchers, whereas with cats it's at most a kind of hobby.  Anyway, encouraging snakes is a lot easier than you might think.  A few posters like, "Snakes rule!" or "Snakes let nothing stand in their way" or "Snakes #1!" is all it takes.  I'm not sure the snakes really got the wordplay of "stand in their way" but they seemed to like the way I drew the "1" to look like a snake balancing on its tail.

Unfortunately, snakes are tunnelers, too, and there was a certain amount of collateral damage in the hydrangeas and the creeping gardenia, but the voles were well under control.  By under control, I mean mostly dead.  But then I began to be concerned about the snakes.  It turns out something you don't want is a bunch of snakes with high self-esteem.  They began burrowing under the house, and I worried they'd undermine the foundation.  Which  is when I began arming the voles.

It's not easy to teach a vole to use a semi-automatic weapon, I can tell you.  For one thing, the rifles have to be very, very small.  Secondly, voles are terrible shots; they're legally blind, most of them, and getting prescription eyeglasses to stay on their pointy little faces is nearly impossible.  I hate to admit it, but more than a few voles were lost to "friendly fire" before I began to see any progress.  But now they seem to have the hang of it, and every so often the air is filled with tiny little bursts of gunfire.

The snakes are definitely on the run, which is kind of a strange image, but now, however, I'm worried the voles are getting out of hand again.  The next step is getting some sort of body armor for the snakes.  Later on, I'll have to be prepared to give the voles armor-piercing bullets.  But for now, the snake-vole situation seems to be fairly stabilized.

Only lately, I've started to worry about chipmunks.

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