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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Woodchuck



I suppose I'll remember this summer (to distinguish it from others) as the summer of the woodchuck. I think I brought on the troubles myself, by thinking I could plant a few vegetables near the front door where they'd be safe. We've had woodchucks for as long as I can remember, but they have always, until now, stayed out back. That's where their holes are - far from the house, near the glen.
The broccoli shoots were growing nicely, along with the chard and tomatoes, interspersed prettily with the herbs and flowers. Until one day they weren't. They were gone. Eaten to a stubble. And that was when I spotted, from my bedroom window, a woodchuck peering out from the hole he'd made by removing a few loose bricks in my front steps.
It was hard to explain the problem to the masons I called for estimates. Was there a danger of sealing the animals IN, in the course of repairs? Should I try to get rid of the woodchuck FIRST? But then how do I know another won't appear? And how many are there anyhow? I had a few nightmares about woodchucks destroying the foundation, getting into the house....
Ultimately the woodchuck was dispatched, and the steps repaired. Plenty of his brethren remain. And they're getting bolder. I saw one just today outside this window, in the neighbors' driveway. I'm told it would be hopeless to think of getting rid of them permanently, living, as I do, adjacent to woodland.
But it's safe to say that my broccoli-growing days are over.

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