Scott Marks 2:48 p.m., May 23
BE IT EVER A JUNGLE, THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
There’s no doubt about it, I have a soft spot. Yes, there’s my fondness for Italian sorbets, but I’m talking about that weakness in my heart for newborn animals. Once those babies are grown though, my yard is not incumbent for any breeds that show up consistently making my place look like a wildlife park just because I am nestled in openness where they assume it’s a hospitable habitat. Why just last week I spotted a wild turkey lurking about. I realize the tom has a famous gobble that lures females, but I’m not an eligible consideration. Then one neighboring dog finds a way to escape his wrought iron fence daily and goes for a stroll without his owner, ending up at my doorstep with those puppy dog eyes, as if he were a poor abandoned hound that hadn’t eaten or gotten scratched behind the ears in a month. The way he jumps up and down doing major screen damage, you’d think I was a MilkBone supplier.
In flies the bird that left the nest in favor of my fountain turned birdbath. This bird has taken up residency as a carefree bather on my property, who doesn’t have to pay the water bill, and at my expense is having the time of his fluttering wet winged life. Sometimes I want to offer him soap and a razor. If I presented some bird seed and flower nectar, I’m sure his whole family would be showing up to make splashing spectacles of themselves as well. It does make me want to become a soaring eagle without a worry in the world, except for maybe a stalking falcon. And flocks of sparrows perched in the dense growth of trees on my lot think nothing of dropping doo doo bombs on my head as if they were sharpshooters as I walk around for a breath of fresh air. Good thing I’m never looking up! And because some are known as house sparrows (the passer domesticus), doesn’t mean they get the keys to my home…unless of course they need to use a real restroom. And my attention span leans towards the woodpecker that spends ninety-nine percent of his time hammering away at my porch pillars. Thankfully I never upgraded to those extravagant fluted columns.
This pet penetration has gotten out of hand. I might as well grab some cotton candy for watching the three ring circus in the back yard where several animated frolicking felines inhabit my patio furniture by night, and are fur flown squirrel chasers by day. All of them are cleverly juxtaposed making wild music together with such CATerwaul. In an uncommon geography of traffic violations, my lawn is not the Indy 500. They come with scores of other creatures except gophers, because they’re afraid of their own shadows let alone mine. As for the occasional coyote traipsing down the street setting paws on my honeysuckle and scaring off humans, I’m tempted to get a restraining order. I have that nagging fear that a mountain lion or a bear will be present when I go out to the mailbox, and envelopes will be addressed to Zookeeper. In which case if the air drops its digits to freezing, none of these critters are coming in to wrap themselves around my fireplace. Unless they can play Scrabble, what good are they?
It’ll be a real shocker if a beached whale ends up in my driveway, and my garden is not where the deer and the antelope should play. An orangutan could be cute, cuddly, and keep me warm at night. But the fruit loving primate may get too aggressive trying to pull a bottle of Shiraz from my grip. Besides, where would he do all his monkey business? And those apes usually move by way of braciating, swinging from one branch to another. They wouldn’t do well in my place with only one chandelier.
Once I tried befriending a ferret. That got as far as bad scents and snot green slime. But I know I’m an animal magnet. If this were Kenya, I would also have tigers at my doorstep salivating, wanting to eat me out of tent and Frosted Flakes. And I would be setting out some rhinoceros traps, although the international poaching mafia is a much bigger threat than I am.