Thursday, May 12, 2011

Living The Dream

When we first moved into our home a little over 4 years ago, I found the bunnies hopping through the front yard charming and cute...

So cute, so deceiving
...until one of our cats chased one into my sewing room and slaughtered it underneath my sewing table. I didn't realize that this had happened until one evening I sat down to sew and laid my foot down on something soft and squishy rather than the power pedal for my sewing machine.

Poor, poor bunny
There are a lot of great things about living in the country.

Farmer Brown next door has 5 acres of land - when we first moved in he had a couple of horses, he traded them for a cow - now he has chickens. Chickens that like to chill out in my back yard and perch by my bedroom window to make sure that I get up in the morning.

The dog breeders that used to live behind us moved out of their 5 acre property and were replaced by a lovely, quiet couple that don't have pets. Every now and again, I may hear them talking on their porch, but other than that, I have never seen them and have never had any issues with them.

The old hippie and his wife that live across the road like their weed and love to play their music loud. It's the music I grew up with and if I am in my house, I cannot hear them.

They are ALWAYS home - I wonder what they are growing in their garden.
Z and I can go on walks and look at flowers in the spring and talk about the birds, bunnies and squirrels.

I will admit that it is kind of pain to have all of your neighbors so spread out, especially if you have an emergency and really need some help - it's a pretty long walk with a kid to find out someone is not even home.

I will also admit that the first time a tick bit me, I flipped out. Big time. I am not one to be afraid of bugs, but the idea of a bug that just latches on and stays there drinking your blood as long as it feels like it kinda freaks me out, especially since if you can't remove it correctly, just the head can survive UNDERNEATH your skin as the body REGENERATES ITSELF. Ummm, freaky.

In the last 24 hours, I have learned a lot about the country that I live in due to the pamphlets and handouts that the Florida Wildlife Commission gave me yesterday morning.

Apparently, I live in BEAR COUNTRY!

In all of the movies I have ever seen, I have never seen Florida touted as bear country. I have never heard of Grizzlie Adams taking to the wilds of Florida (for pete's sake) to live amongst the bears.

According to the pamphlet, as long as the bear is finding a food source they will keep coming back for more food. The challenge here is to take away the bear's food source. The suggestions that the pamphlet gave me were to request a bear proof can from Waste Management. Waste Management said that their contract with our county does not require them to offer the bear proof cans, so that option is not available for my area. They suggested that I contact the Board of Commisioners to ask that the contract be ammended. I have not yet received a response to my rather crazed voicemail to the assistant of the assistant to the Commissioner.

According to the pamphlet, if I encounter a bear, I should NOT play dead (it's a good thing that I read the pamphlet - that was TOTALLY my plan). Instead I should talk soothingly and reassuringly to the bear while walking slowly backwards.

The actual conversation should go like this:

Me: "Oh, hello Mr. Bear. It's okay, I am not going to hurt you, I am your friend. See how I feed you with my upside down trashcan? You are a good bear that would never think to eat me or my family, right?"

Bear: Growl.

Me: "I am glad that we have this understanding Mr. Bear, you see I really like to not be mauled by bears in my front yard and it would kinda ruin my kid's life if you were to hurt me."

Bear: GROWL.

Me: "But Mr. Bear, I have explained to you that I feed you and that my kid needs me to not be hurt, if you will just let me make it back into my house, I am sure I could find you something truly yummy to eat. It will taste much better than I do - do you like brownies? I made some really great brownies - I could whip you up a batch."

During this encounter, I should be sure to not motion with my hands and keep them limp at my sides, should I raise them I could enrage the bear and he would attack. This is a lot to remember. I will probably be mauled by a bear.

I am really not sure that this approach is going to work, but apparently the other alternatives, walking away from the bear and running wildly from the bear are not the way you should handle these matters. Evidently, turning your back on a bear is a huge insult to their self-esteem and they will kill you for it - kinda like deaf people. I know some deaf people that will smack you down for turning your back on them in a heated discussion.

And running from a bear is like engaging them in a twisted game of insult tag (kinda like foreplay). They can run faster than you, hit harder than you and judging by the claw marks in the tree - they WILL win.

I think  I might be coming down with a case of agoraphobia...or at least a case of  "I-am-not-leaving-this-house-until-Noon" when I know that all of the critters will be asleep because it is too hot to do anything else out there with a fur coat on.


  1. Haha! What the heck? I have not heard this about being in bear country either! Maybe alligator county...but bears?? ;)

  2. @groundedangel
    It's true though - they gave me a pamphlet entitled "Living in Bear Country" - I dunno.


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