Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

My City

with 2 comments

I live in a city in the country. A place characterized by a specific attribute. My city is populated by leaves. Leaves and sticks. And mud, when the weather is wet. My city is constantly changing. There are animals and animal dung. There are births and deaths.

Is it murder when one animal kills another?

Not according to this definition:

“the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.” 

Doesn’t apply to animals.

My city has common routes of travel shared by many. There are also back alley shortcuts to get from one place to another. There is traffic night and day.

Our house is the city center, the hub of all activity. From here, energy radiates in every direction. There are constant battles waged against unwelcome invading plants and critters.

The invasion of cold temperatures appears to have quashed the zeal of microorganisms living in the only remaining active pile of composting manure. I won’t fight the issue. The pile will be there when warmth returns next spring. I’ve witnessed piles that cook through the winter and seen many more that go dormant and freeze solid.

This year, we have noticed an atypical increase in the number of mice seeking to move into the city center now that the leaves have fallen to the ground. Do they know something we don’t about what kind of weather this winter will bring?

We are receiving news now that the whitetail deer population has contracted the coronavirus in substantial numbers. Since they lack the infrastructure for getting vaccinated, it gives us added incentive to get our booster shots. I’d rather not wear a mask when walking through the woods.

Imagine the opportunity for the virus to morph again while it is spreading uncontrolled through the deer population.

We can try to put our city on lock-down but policing the traffic that crosses our borders is beyond the reach of our security forces.

My city will take its chances.

We are more concerned about a threatened strike by the snowplow driver.



Written by johnwhays

November 13, 2021 at 10:23 am

2 Responses

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  1. I’m so glad to see you use the word “quash”! I can’t believe how many times I’ve seen “squash” – used by otherwise literate folk – when context clearly showed they meant “quash.” This was a delightful piece, John! Is your Pequenita a good mouser?


    November 13, 2021 at 11:19 am

    • I tend to rank Pequenita a strong medium on mouse patrol. She has a fair number of kills to her record, but might just as often allow the little playthings to escape as a result of her priorities being different from ours.
      I will happily soak in this instance of literary success for “quash” with full awareness of too many other times when I’ve typed the wrong word for what I meant to say.
      Thank you for brightening my day, Katy!


      November 13, 2021 at 1:05 pm

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