Sunday, April 20, 2008

drowning rats

as a young wife and mother i had a recurring nightmare. in my dream i would suddenly remember that i was responsible for some rodents - hamsters or mice or rats . when i went to look in their cage they would have multiplied unbelievably and i knew all that they had to eat was each other. i found this absolutely terrifying and i never knew what to do...i always thought the dream was about me somehow neglecting my responsibilities to others. i now know it was about me neglecting myself.

all last summer and into the winter we have had a rat living in our composte bin. when i put orange peel and hunks of bread etc. into it i would think about feeding her. in the winter we would sometimes see her under the bird feeder eating the fallen seeds. she was large and healthy. we knew that there would be a nest in the compost this year. so yesterday we dug in and discovered 8 of the cutest little baby rats. fur covered but still wobbly on their legs. mum rat was nowhere to be seen. what to do? i'm a buddhist and an animal lover so this was very hard. we got a bucket of water and one by one keith put them in the bucket. i put a lid on the bucket because i didn't want to see. for awhile they swam around and then they drowned.

we emptied the compost and spread it over the gardens. then we moved the bins to a more open area (first putting down a sheet of galvanized metal so nothing could get in).

we behaved responsibly...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dreams can be such great counselors if we only took the time to really try to understand them. I had a similar repeating dream several months back about constantly leaving our old dog tied up in the basement and forgetting she existed, forgetting to feed her, to take her for walks, to clean up her poop. I'd wake up an emotional wreck. However, I never paid attention to the dream and several months later ended up with Bell's Palsy.

The ironic part is that we didn't own a basement when we owned her, she was an indoor dog the size of a horse who often slept in bed with me and hubby (using her paws to push one of us off the bed), and was spoiled rotten. In other words, she was so well-cared for you'd have thought we gave birth to her.