Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bunky's Playhouse

This is the begining (I think) of Bunky's Playhouse.  What do you think? Help me out here folks-- opinions and ideas.

I am rooted and settled, I colonized, I dwell, I am established, I’ve hung up my hat, my house is inhabited, I have kept house, I have lived, and I am located, I am lodged, I have moved to, and I am parked, I definitely put down roots, I’ve set up home, squatted, taken up residence. In short, I am here to stay. This is how I felt about my first house and this is how I feel about the house I am in now.  Obviously, in the case of the first house I was sadly mistaken, but hey, no one is perfect! This time it is for real, for sure, no doubt about it. If I leave (for a permanent type of reason) I want to be in a pine box, feet first, heading out the door to the burn pit. Even then I don’t want to go far. Till me up, scatter me about; make me a part of what I call home forever. I want to become part of the soil, lifted up on a warm breeze, carried far on the hooves of deer and the paws of rabbits and fox. Underground, in the air, in the water, sucked up through the trees trunks and expelled through the leaves, forever changed, forever the same, part of this place, this life, this world.

I watch a praying mantis devouring bugs more than half its size on the kitchen window and a wolf spider sits by the front door hunkered down in a sticky, thick and nasty tunnel built of web within a shrub. I can hear a little bunny or similar furry moonlight dwelling creature scurry under the porch, watch the violent, territorial hummingbirds, the butterflies drunk and wobbly on pollen and the chattering squirrels trying to distract the avian mob so that they can steal and run with their bounty.

Buzzards, huge and threatening in appearance, float on the warm air rising from the soft and fertile ground. I watch them, I can almost hear them whispering ‘here bunny, bunny, bunny, here little bunny, let’s do lunch’. In my head they share a voice with Hiss the sssibilant sssnake from the Disney animated version of Robin Hood. I know the only lapin in danger are those too dead to care about it but they frighten me none the less. I watched too many cartoons as a kid with the buzzards stalking the dying, giving them no chance to rest and get their wits about them.

Every now and then an owl’s hoot can be heard, sounding to every creature who hears it like a silken promise of death to come following the gloaming. Doves coo, as if to make it all better, to alleviate the harshness and certain tragedy of the advertised demise by owls and subsequent clean up by buzzards alike.

The ground is springy under my feet and I can see hummocks marking tunnels, little highways under the ground, but barely, moles trudging along chewing and thrusting and chewing some more. Ants of every size and type scurry like… well, like ants, busy and determined but not averse to taking a bite out of you if you happen to be in the line of their travel.

Hornets and bees swirl lazily, their buzzing so overweight, so swollen with the dog days of summer and fermenting nectar that it sounds almost painful for them. They loll about, all the while keeping a secret, a burst of energy tucked away, a smidge of lust barely under control for that sudden speedy dart, land, and sting. It is a given just not knowing when but knowing it will come and that they will surely, obscenely, enjoy it and then die. The bees must be jealous because they know they only have one shot at it while a hornet can sting and sting and sting until you are swollen and full of poison, on fire in the front yard watching the buzzards fly overhead murmuring ‘here little jeannie, little jeannie, jeannie, yum’ and the moles commence happily digging the hole you will reside in forever and ever amen.

Little field mice wait on tenterhooks just around the corner and under the drain pipe taking turns darting in to the garage when the doors open, digging around in who knows what until they open again and a sprint lets them back out into the air and the light. I am sure they have confabs late into the mousy evening regarding the glories they have found on their forays and a cabal of elders is determining just where they will go for the winter (The bag of bubble wrap? The collection of wrapping materials and Christmas decorations? The box of shop rags? Decisions, decisions!), with the lucky mouse that found the perfect hidey hole being celebrated by all the others as their salvation.

As I see them flatten themselves out and then spring out the door, making a run for it I think 'CAT', as I picture myself shaking a fist at them, ‘Cat, you little bastards, a big cat with a large appetite’. I know I won’t but it feels good to make the threat, to see them quiver (in my imagination at least) from fear. I will stare down a spider but furry things with toes give me the willies.

A starling likes to fly in every time the mice run out, sitting on the top of the open garage door and fussing at me for continually locking him out. He flies from side to side chattering and trilling, flapping awkwardly in the enclosed space but he just keeps on doing it so I no longer feel sorry for him. I am not sure if he is the slowest of the starlings, the ‘special’ one,  the one they will definitely leave behind if given half a migratory chance, or if he is just doing it to taunt me. Having seen how frightened I am of the mice and with the moles making me shiver and shudder what a treat it must be  for the normally powerless little bird to make me duck, cover and run from the sheltering garage, sounding all the world like a crow gone mad. I don’t threaten him with 'CAT'. No point, he knows I am a liar. While I can’t stand these creatures invading my space they are glorious in theirs. They belong here and I will not make them dinner on purpose, not even if they wholeheartedly deserve it.

A pile of deer droppings lie at the end of the driveway, next to the mail box. I wonder did said deer void before crossing, wanting to make sure that he was as light and fleet of foot as possible or did he narrowly miss being run into by a car or a truck speeding through the dark countryside at night? Did the lights catch him in mid stride and freeze him for a split second as his life (trees and shadow, guns and grass) flash across his brainpan before he could tear himself away from the glare and leap onto the shoulder, barely making it, breathing hard as the wind from the truck whipped his tail mightily and this mess was literally shit scared out of him? Only the deer and the truck driver (if indeed he exists) know for sure.

I think the other deer must have questioned him if they saw his disheveled state, his wind-blown tail, and ‘ooh’ed and ‘aaah’ed when he told his tale. Even if the first scenario was more accurate, if he just dumped because it was time or the grass was too green that morning, he would tell a similar tale anyway, for what chance do whitetail have to be heroes?  The speed of the hurtling nemesis would go from 20 miles an hour to 100 and from a VW Beetle or short bed pick up to an 18 wheeler barreling down the narrow two lane road. No doubt the driver would have been bent on destruction of one kind or another (why else would he be here, on this country lane at that time of night?) and narrowly missing the valiant deer would have thrown off his timing, or given him a chance to reflect on his misdeeds, real or imagined, and change his direction, both physically and maybe, maybe, spiritually.

As I chuckle to myself at this image of deer as savior of eternal soul of a madman a murder of crows begin cawing over my head, loud and long. They sit in the tallest pines, crying out to each other. Are they shaming me for laughing out loud and ruining their perfect place, their perfect day? I start to wonder what might be lying about dead, what with the buzzards and crows lolling about the canopy, but do not see, or more likely, smell a thing out of the ordinary. They fly about, random circles, black wings flapping crying out to one another but for what? What on earth can they be shouting about if it isn’t food? It is hardly likely that a cat is climbing one of the giant pines, not a child or hunter about with a gun, BB or (God forbid) real, no airplanes or crow eating tyrannosaurus rexes about. Why are they making the racket? Just to be heard. I tilt up my chin and CAW right back at them, it doesn’t even faze them, they chortle, they flap, they remove themselves from my annoying presence and I hear their calls echoing through the woods off into the distance. Holes are left in the blue day where their ragged voices tore at the noisy silence of nature, slow to fill in again, leaving things around them just a bit mussed, not quite as perfect as they were but no visible reason found for it.