I opened my mail today. Not e-mail, this was an official looking envelope with a stamp and everything. The letter was from Greenpeace. I was going to ignore it. Greenpeace usually only sends letters for two reasons: Donations or they want you to help blockade an oil tanker in a rubber boat. Now I don’t know about you but if I ever get in front of a million-ton tanker I want something more substantial than a tiny rubber boat, something more like an aircraft carrier.
Now their people tell you, that there will be a hundred rubber boats, but what if somebody gets a cold, or forgets? What if you’re the first boat there and the tanker squashes you before the others arrive? Or, worse what if you accidentally get the time or date wrong? There are just too many unknowns. As far as the donation envelope is concerned. I’m just not comfortable giving money to a group that advocates sending otherwise intelligent people out in tiny rafts to get run over by extra-large oil tankers. But hey, that’s just me.
Of course, Greenpeace also likes whales. I do like whales, but their fixation with rubber boats is still a problem. They really love to hop in a five-foot rubber boat and go paddling up to a fifty-foot unpredictable fish. In my mind that’s a bath toy! If that whale dunks its little plaything just once it’s time to say good-bye and get some more volunteers. Then again, it might be a Blue Whale. Those are supposed to be the gentlest creatures in the sea. However, it also happens to be a hundred-feet long. That’s bigger than the tankers. Now you’ve gone from bath toy to eye irritant. I don’t care how gentle they are, if you’ve got a rubber boat and two people in your eye, you’re bound to get a bit cross. But enough about Greenpeace’s mission, and back to the letter.
As I said I was about to throw out the letter when I noticed the stamp. This was not processed by a machine and not a mass mailing. Then I saw the address was actually written. They were not sending this out to a whole bunch of idiots just a special one, me. I had to find out what they wanted, so I opened it up. Oh, I wish I hadn’t
I was caught. They were coming to get me. Apparently, I had broken actual laws as well as several laws of nature. I was more than sorry, but as always, ignorance of the law is no excuse. Even now, I am writing this in a secret undisclosed location as I am running from the authorities for my heinous crimes. I am an accused deforresterator, no that’s not right, an unforester, no a deforester? Oh heck, I ripped up a whole bunch of trees, and that’s bad.
I didn’t mean to do it. It just kind of happened. You see my brother had been out of town for a long assignment, when he got a call from his landlord saying that the lawn and flower beds were a mess. He isn’t coming back soon so he called me and asked if I could go over there and clean it up.
He has two huge oaks, a tall-straight maple, and a beautiful dogwood tree in his yard and while he was gone, they all seeded.
As the grass was being mowed, I spent an entire morning just pulling tiny maple saplings out of his gravel driveway. My eighteen-year-old smart-aleck-son, who came not to help, but to deride me at every turn actually counted them as I was making a lunch run. He gladly informed me that I snuffed the life out of one-thousand-six-hundred-thirty-nine poor innocent maple saplings that had never done anything to hurt me. He wept for the senseless loss of life. I totally understood what he was saying though my emotions were not quite tears. Mine were more like throwing a hamburger at him like pitching a fast ball. No, I didn’t care about the stupid little maple trees. I tried to remind him that he mowed over far more plants than I pulled. He agreed he did trim the grass, but insisted he wasn’t a serial tree killer. I hate grown children.
The two of us raked the afternoon away until only the flowerbeds remained a total and complete mess. It was getting near dinner time so we left and I would have to come back. Besides he had already provided one-hundred percent of my recommended daily requirement of ridicule, so I didn’t need to hang out with him anymore.
As luck would have it, my son had to work the next day so I brought my daughter to help. She tends to our flower garden and knows what it is to pull weeds. Consequently, I felt she would do a better job. Well sort of. The first thing I did was to pull all the dead leaves out of one corner of one bed. I had a nice pile and went in the house for a glass of water. I went back out and the pile was gone. My princess had seen the pile and decided to use the leaves as natural mulch and threw them all back in the flower and shrub areas. She was so proud of herself for thinking of this, “And they will keep the weeds from coming up,” she told me.
It only took me a few minutes to burst her bubble and inform her that she threw the mulch on top of the weeds and while no more would seed the ones below would grow just fine. She was distraught, so it was up to me to me to get the leaves back into a pile. It took twice as long the second time.
We both went back to work pulling out unwanted plants. Lots of acorns had started growing and I could barely get all the blanketly-blank dogwood seeds out.
Just after the first half hour, I was informed she could do no more. Apparently, if she continued, she would be disturbing a chipmunk nest, four toads, a family of mice, a mantis egg sac, and three large spiders. That was it I had had too much nature and it was not going to defeat my goals. I went over to where she was working and stepped on the spiders, threw the egg sac in the trash, chased away the toads, and buried the entrances to the mouse and chipmunk nests. My daughter still hasn’t spoken to me.
So that’s my story. I have slashed and burned over a thousand trees and attacked indigenous wildlife without concern or checking to see if it was endangered. I do wonder which of my children reported me to Greenpeace, but I guess it really doesn’t matter. What does matter is what I’m going to do with the rest of my sorted life. My first thought was going back and apologizing to my children, but after thinking a while, I wonder what it takes to volunteer for one of those tiny rubber boats.
After my family, a supertanker doesn’t look so tough.
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