Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Heard-hearted Taskmaster of Death

I am the spider slayer. Now, I'm the last person in the world who would call Husband a wimp. He is a strong, manly, testosterone-riddled guy. He can lift heavy furniture and unscrew the stickiest lids.


He hates spiders. If he sees one in his vicinity, he must-must see it dead. Soon. Preferably with a shoe as the instrument of death. But shoes, especially manly size 13s, are not so delicate to destroy tricksy arachnids in tight spaces.

So I am the spider slayer.

I can do the job bare handed, if necessary, but I prefer one square of toilet paper. That's just the way I roll. A quick pinch, a combination of crunch and goo, and flush it away. (The flush is Husband's demand. It must be flushed. Every time. When he's home.)


I can't do mousetraps.

The house we live in was built on a former dairy-barn site. This makes for extremely good dirt and plenty of small rodent possibilities. We have been very lucky. I have never actually seen a mouse inside this house. In the garage, yes. Outside, oh yes. But not in my knife drawer (ick) or my pantry (ick) or nesting inside my extra roll of paper towels (ick-ick-ick).

This is not our first house, though, and other houses were full of mouse opportunities, some mentioned above. I am shuddering right now, just thinking of it. And I grew up on "property" where mice were expected and cats (ick again - sorry) required.

And through all those years, I never got over the revulsion of emptying a mousetrap. I just can't stand to witness the disposal of a creature that nurses its young. Call me a softie, call me oversensitive, but if there's a way to avoid it, I will find that way.

And then there was yesterday. I went outside to mow the lawn, and as I cleared up lawn-chairs and baseball bats and tubs of collections (don't ask), I found a bird.

It was dead.

Lying on the grass with its little beak open in pathetic agony.

There was a small explosion of spready feathers.

My first concern was "who would do this?" What kind of horrible creature kills a bird and doesn't eat it? Something is running around my back yard killing birds for sport.

My second concern was that the poor thing was lying on my grass. That I was about to mow.* And Husband was at least 45 minutes and two meetings away.

1. Mow tomorrow (Scarlett O'Hara lives in my heart)
2. Mow around it (effective, but tacky)
3. Move it

Sigh. I had to move it. I couldn't really leave it lying there, waiting for my sensitive, impressionable kids to find it and cry/gag/bring it inside. I was wearing plastic knock-off crocs** and the thought of moving it with my foot was unbearable. Because I'd have to kick it several yards, and I didn't think I could bring myself to do that. Plus I might feel it. And there were bugs.

So I marched (okay, really just walked) into the garage and pulled a shovel off its hook. I placed the tip of the shovel under the little [TOO MUCH INFORMATION. BETTER JUDGEMENT, HERE. I'LL BE FINISHING THE STORY. SHE SCOOPED UP THE BIRD. SHE PUT IT IN THE TRASH CAN. SHE DID NOT DROP IT. SHE DID NOT HAVE TO TOUCH IT. BACK TO THE DRAMA QUEEN.] and the light little feathers disappeared into the vortex of the lawnmower.

So even though it was a horrible thing, I managed to do it. I found my brave, steeled my soft heart, and took care of business.

And the lawn looks fabulous.

*Once as a kid, I was doing the grass (we had a riding mower) and I ran over a frog. Who knew it could bleed so much? Ug.



  1. I'm giggling for two reasons right now. 1) Croc-offs. 2) The fact that my word verification word is louse.

    We live in a house with two stories of windows on one side. Dead birdies abound. It is a very sad thing indeed.

  2. can come and kill all of my spiders for me...sorry about yucky dead things...I'm with on that all the way around!

  3. I'm sorry but the frog comment...I want to barf a little bit.

    I hear you about those kinds of things though. There's also this huge part of me that worries that if my children should see a dead animal, I will scar them for life. So I hurry to get the job done and choke back some tears. Dunno why I'm such a wuss about it but I am.


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