"And I spent nearly twenty dollars on those!" she cries.
Her fiancee, J drives up with dozens of new starters -- squash, peas, beans joining their 40 tomato plants already in the ground -- and we talk gophers for a while. They're thinking of the chewing gum ploy so I tell them to be careful not to get human scent on the gum. I am beginning to think that was my problem last year. (Our house painter told us about her friend who uses empty aluminum cans, buried every three feet, around his vegetable plot. The gophers hit them when they burrow and the sound of their little nails against the metal freaks them out. Or so she says.)
They've gotten all my hollyhocks and many of my cosmos. (I'm hoping that the cages protect my food plants.) I've gotten 3 gophers so far this year. It sickens me each time I kill a gopher.
All this carnage makes me think of Original Sin. I don't think it has anything to do with our knowledge of right and wrong, but our need to kill life to sustain our own. The gopher situation has thrown it in my face, but every one of us, and in fact, every animal, is a Creature of Sin.
"That's why I'm a vegan," you might say. But as long as you are killing plants for food, you also have The Mark. A purist would only eat fruit.
I believe the real Garden of Eden would only have plants and a few insects, like bees and worms. No taking of one life for another.
Today, my snails go back into the wild. We're leaving The Ranch tomorrow and I haven't built up the nerve to cook them. I am sure BD is thrilled not to be witness to another part of my weirdness and I'm just as happy to get away from the Killing Fields for a while.