Wild Life

I’ve seen a black bear on the side of the road in the Smokies and a moose grazing in a watery ditch in Ontario. I’ve seen tiny picas, like chipmunks, scurrying amongst rocks on Lassen Mountain, California, and amazing sea lions on the rocky shore of Oregon. As incredible as those wild creatures were, the wild life in our own yards is really so very interesting. It’s so much fun to visit a zoo or a wildlife park and see elephants, tigers, giraffes and rhinoceros. And, yes, I would love to go on an African safari. But the wildlife we encounter near, or even at, our own back door can be quite startling.

Charles had told me there was a possum in the shed. But I’d forgotten about it. I used the last of foil on a roll and needed more. Charles would have some in his shed kitchen. I dashed across the yard, opened the squeaky door, and pulled out a cabinet drawer. There sat a mama opossum with babies. She was as surprised as I was. She didn’t have time to play dead so she opened her pointed mouth and hissed. When I recovered from the shock, I simply closed the drawer. If she wanted to live in a cabinet drawer, then why not? The foil was in the next drawer which I opened very cautiously as if there might be another family on that lower story.

There are so many amazing creatures everywhere we go. An opossum in a drawer; a chameleon skittering across our daughter’s bedroom ceiling, adept as could be, upside down; a quail mama with four or five chicks following her across our side yard; a cute little fox with ears alert staring back at me from a thicket; a butterfly air dancing; a cardinal on a fence post; a snake crossing our driveway from a bank of reeds; two precious spotted fawns we inherited because a policeman confiscated them from an illegal owner and then didn’t know what to do but to bring them to the veterinarian. One day years ago when Charles Douglas lived with us our cat, Sassy, came proudly up to the door carrying a baby rabbit in her mouth. Charles D carefully rescued the bunny, who was unscratched and alive, and took it down to a nearby woodsy place where, hopefully, it might survive. We have a friendly turtle that comes to our back door on occasion and enjoys a taste of cat food, even visits us on the back porch. A tiny brown toad the size of a baby’s fist sat on our doorstep expectantly last night. And the list goes on.

Not to forget that abandoned baby squirrel in our garage which Charli claimed and so lovingly nursed.

Recently, while he was digging soil out of a flower pot, Charles came upon a small rubbery white lump. Curious, he pried it open. Out popped a miniscule lizard perfectly formed, though not alive. We began wondering how many eggs a lizard may lay and if they scatter them in various places. He said the baby was so tiny but exactly like those who hang around our porch climbing the screens and posing like model dinosaurs on leaves and window sills.

The creatures God has made of all sizes, shapes, colors, and habits are a marvelous testimony to His splendrous creativity. Each creature is made with a purpose, though we may never understand what that purpose is. I think I could do without mosquitos, fire ants, gnats, lovebugs–and snakes! But God knows best. Each creature is placed in the habitat and with instincts that it needs, polar bears and penguins on ice, monkeys where bananas grow. Each has exactly the right equipment for their intended occupation, a woodpecker with a strong drill of a beak, squirrels with springs in their nimble legs, and hummingbirds with helicopter wings for hovering.

Our great grandchildren have a favorite book titled “All God’s Critters Have a Place in the Choir” by Bill Staines with pictures by Margot Zemach. Our sixth grader still loves to pull that worn and ragged book out on occasion and read it with wonderful rhythm and pizazz. But we all know the refrain of the poem by heart: “All God’s critters got a place in the choir; Some sing low, some sing higher; Some sing out loud on the telephone wire; And some just clap their hands–or paws–or anything they got.”

So many strange creatures in our own backyard. Makes for a Wild Life! But the strangest of all? Humans! As the psalmist said, I will praise thee; for we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14a


Filed under Uncategorized

3 responses to “Wild Life

  1. Suzanne Dover


    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Revonda Barwick

    I wish I could have been a fly on the wall when you opened that
    drawer!! Great story!!

  3. As long as it wasn’t a rattlesnake I could recover!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s