If you are a painted turtle: I can\’t imagine what impels you every spring to leave the secluded swamp and claw your way uphill, across our backyard, and down the front field. Surely you know that beyond that lies the paved and deadly road? But if you must cross the backyard, please do so outside the confines of the invisible fence. If you don\’t, you will be crossing Wolfie territory, with tragic outcomes. I don\’t know whether reptile beings transmit stories across generations. If they do, you surely have heard about your ancestors who were seized and crunched between Wolfie\’s bright white teeth (which I polish every other morning). With no ill effects, he has on several occasions eaten shell, beak, claws and tail, leaving only a small mound of intestines. Just today I rescued one of you, the front of the shell just lightly nibbled and with just one canine-shaped hole in the back–I hope I did him/her a mercy, but I am not sure that my rescues don\’t make things much worse for the victims. It\’s far better to avoid Wolfie\’s domain altogether. And please pass the word to your descendants.
If you are a frog or a toad: know that Bisou is obsessed with you. So far, all she seems to want to do is kiss you, or at most bump you with her nose to make you hop–you are a placid, trusting lot–but she is a dog, despite all appearances, so you never know. If you must lounge croaking on the patio, do so at night when Bisou is asleep in her crate upstairs, next to my bed. If you must stick your head out of the water, I advise you to cling to the floating solar fountain in the middle of the pond. If you hold on to the edges of the pond, Bisou will not hesitate lean and even fall in, hoping for that magic kiss.
If you are a rabbit: you survived the hard winter through an amazing display of intelligence, eating bird-seed in the front yard, which is off limits to the dogs, during the day time, and preying on the rosebushes and apple trees in the backyard at night, when the dogs are in the house. Now that it is spring, please keep your children out of the backyard. Keep them away also from the grass near driveway. I walk the dogs on the driveway, and the scent of baby bunny carries some distance–you be the judge of how far. I rescued one of your infants from Wolfie\’s jaws last year, and I\’m not sure I did him/her a favor….
If you are a fox, a fisher, a hawk, a weasel, a coyote or a wolf-hybrid: have mercy on my hens. The old ones are tough, and the little ones are barely a mouthful. I am doing my best to preserve 95% of our land as woods and fields. There are plenty of mice, moles, voles, squirrels, chipmunks, and porcupines to keep you and yours in good flesh. But we need organic protein too, and the hens\’ eggs are our main source of it. Besides, chickens are so tame and unsuspecting that it\’s not very sporting to hunt them.
If you are a wolf spider: I know you like our basement–it\’s cool in summer and livable in winter. Just please stay away from me or I may hit you with a broom. If you are a wasp: please find alternative homesites to our chicken shed, wren house, or garage. If you are a black fly: go ahead and bite me. The Catholic in me likes to atone and show off the rivulets of blood pouring down my neck.