Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ghastly Moments in Gardening

Gardeners are a bit closer to nature than most, and are generally less squeamish as a consequence. While digging you inevitably cut worms in half, meet spiders and centipedes, and try to avoid toxoplasmosis, tetanus and Legionnaires' Disease. You deal with poo, with live animals, dead animals. My ghastly moment yesterday involved a half-dead animal in the vegie patch.

Earlier in the day I had laid down newspaper and spoilt hay to renew a garden path there. In the evening, I was nearby planting out lettuces, chillies and basil before it rained, and talking to The Geek. I turned around to pick up some of the hay to use for mulch, and there in the middle of the path was a small rat. Writhing. At first I thought it had been poisoned elsewhere and staggered out to die, but then I realised that I had probably stepped on the poor thing on my way, and broken its back.

"Should we call The Twig over to have a look?" The Geek suggested. I eyed the poor twisting thing and firmly told him No. (What on earth was he thinking?)

It kept writhing. It dawned on me that I'd have to put it out of its misery, or it might be there for a while.

A swift blow with my trowel and the job was done. Now what?

Well, I am a gardener, and I'm not squeamish. I've buried it in the middle of the vegie patch for its nutrients.


Anonymous said...

Not to mention bee or wasp stings and spiders in the hair. Gardening does bring one a little closer to some aspects of nature than we'd prefer. Good thing we're tough enough to handle it, right?

Unknown said...

At least you kept your wits about you in the traumatic situation. :) I laughed when you said you buried the dead rodent in the garden for nutrients...too funny.