As the pandemic eases, we are gradually emerging from isolation and permitting the world to reenter. Although isolation was difficult we need to exercise caution in welcoming those we have shut out for a year. Perhaps this is a time to be reflective in reestablishing relationships. I will clarify this thought by looking briefly at the animal world as witnessed at Brant Lake.
Chipmunks: one of my partners in the outside world was a horde of chipmunks. They pervaded my lawn, invaded my bird feeder, and have cross country races on the roof of the house before they descend and clog the drain pipes. Our most beloved, but now deceased dog, Coco, used to chase chipmunks in an attempt to rid us of this pest. However, the only chipmunk he “caught” was already dead!
Now, people even cater to chipmunks. The New York Times featured an article on how to construct a picnic table attached to a tree for the pleasure of chipmunks. The little wooden table can be filled with food for a hungry chipmunk.
“How many for dinner tonight, sir?”
”Well, we will have four people and two chipmunks.”
It is nice to be gracious but when a neighbor reported that a chipmunk hopped onto her breakfast table and joined her in eating a croissant she knew chipmunks no longer had respect for any boundaries. The neighbor preferred isolation!
Geese: every morning a flock of geese, (or whatever a convoy of geese is called), fly overhead. Sometimes they land on our lawn and, seeing a sign invisible to humans that reads, “Rest Room” they leave messy souvenirs spotting our once green virgin lawn. What a mess! In early spring they usually escort a family of little geese. The response from humans is ”how cute” until the non-housebroken babies join their parents in converting the grass into a zone of landmines.
I have often shouted at the geese to frighten them away and my harsh voice works, but only for a minute. Now I have a boat horn but that device only scares my family. So, in my will, I have left my land to the geese and the chipmunks. Let them fight it out!
The conclusion: be careful when you open the doors of isolation.
Who knows who may enter–in animals and in people!
I have to go now. The chipmunks have called me to lunch!