Anyone who's ever met Husband knows that he's a buddy to 4-legged critters of all kinds. This most likely started very early in his life, possibly due to the fact that he grew up in a household run by multiple felines. Nowadays, he's incapable of passing a dog on the sidewalk without asking its owner if he can pet it. Heck, during our YPC period (that would be "Young, Pre-Children") he even volunteered at the National Zoo as a Tour Guide once a month, ushering visitors around the park, educating them about the wildlife, and answering questions. So to say that he demonstrates an innate propensity to...commune with creatures...is an understatement. This morning, however, I had to wonder if he hadn't gone a wee bit over to the dark side with some residents of the Great Outdoors...
Let me explain: you see, our neighborhood is a lovely wooded environment, and our house sits on a lot surrounded by trees. While this is quite picturesque and we enjoy the scenery greatly, it does NOT lend itself to the growing of, say "grass"...so much as the cultivating of...."mud". In an effort to add some interest to the area that lies just beyond our porch--which you can see through the window in the breakfast nook--last Summer I purchased a variety of shrubs and leafy groundcover plants to fill in the blank patch. In doing my research (okay, I admit that this consisted entirely of "quizzing the very knowledgeable and helpful employees at a local nursery for their recommendations") I very specifically asked for greenery that A) required little-to-no sunshine and B) was impervious and/or distasteful to DEER.
This is necessary because, while we don't get many rays in the back yard, we do get packs of roving Bambi Families, who nibble their way through, oh, pretty much everything within reach of their nimble little hooves. So I chose my decorative foliage carefully, based on the salesperson's advice, and confidently arranged them in the bare spot, to very pleasing effect (if I do say so myself). And then...one day I caught one of those damn...ruminants (one of Husband's favorite words...yes, he IS somewhat of a...Nature Nerd)...blissfully munching the tender shoots off one of MY bushes...the NERVE! Well, let me tell you that I returned to the store and stocked up on a product designed to annihilate...um, I mean "repel" deer. There were 2 choices--yet another friendly customer service person steered me towards the one that "smells like mint" rather than the alternative that "you don't want to use anywhere near your home, based on the odor". (Honestly, the first option actually reminds us of basil, so every time I douse the plants, the aroma of...pesto...wafts over our yard...cracks us up....)
Therefore, every month or so I take the bottle out and give the leaves a good spritz, which seems to keep the hungry herbivores away, as promised (while giving the rest of us a craving for...pizza...). However, today a doe wandered across the yard and stopped precariously close to our small garden, delicately picking up a fallen branch to taste. Suddenly I heard Husband's voice, raised enough to project out the back of the house. "Hey," he called, "not that bush!" My mouth fell open in surprise...surely he couldn't be...talking to the deer? Meanwhile the animal raised its head--the incriminating leafy twig dangling from its jaw--and just...stared at him...unmoving...and apparently completely unperturbed.
So what did Husband do? Why, he continued to address the recalcitrant creature by adding, in a tone that I'm sure he meant to be stern and impossible to disobey (and no, I am NOT making this up, even a little bit), "Don't MAKE me come over there!" Oh. Good. Grief...she thinks to herself, as her forehead drops into her hand with a resounding thwack. The man had obviously come slightly unhinged--I don't know what on Earth he could possibly be expecting...attempting to reason with a forest denizen...by delivering what could only be considered...a very mild warning. Seriously, it didn't even approach the level of "potential threat"...it was that innocuous Yeah, I'd say he's got some work to do on his intimidation skills.
And also, you think maybe there's some kind of, I don't know, Socialization Program for people who work at home and don't have much interaction with the world at large (and by this, I'm sure you understand that I'm referring to..."humans")? So they can be spared the indignity of trying to mingle with nature on such a personal level...and their families can avoid having to lock them up for fear of utter mortification...I mean "for their own good", of course. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go Google Work-At-Home-Clubs and see what I can find...and then go give the flora another big drizzle of Eau de Italian Restaurant. (Yep, sometimes my To Do List is a LOT weirder than usual...ha!)