With great apologies to Jack London …
A border collie-pit bull mix once lived with me. On my deathbed, I’ll fondly remember the first time she “alerted.” She had caught me sorting out the freshly laundered whites. She turned her intense gaze towards one of my hands as I fished out a sock from the laundry basket. Then she looked at my other hand holding the pair. Back and forth she watched me, as I paired socks and folded towels. Once I realized that she was helping me sort the laundry, I started to tease her by retrieving and returning laundry items in a silly pattern.
So it seemed our dog couldn’t resist the urge to sort things out and keep things in order, especially white things à la flock of sheep, perhaps?
Such is my irresistible urge to prune dead branches and yank up weeds. Call it the call of the weeds. Even if the weeds are almost my (short) height …
Lamentably, these weeds aren’t edible. That is, I haven’t decided to forage the leaves, stems, or roots. Don’t even know their Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, or Species.
Should I rein in the stinging nettle, inedible weeds, and dandelion that have reached almost the height of a sunken derelict house? These green monsters are certainly taller than I am. But maybe I should leave a little rinconcito for the hummingbirds who might have their nests there. Si (rhymes with “eye”) the Feral Cat might hang out there. Some critter that leaves little oblong poops––a vole, maybe?––certainly travels through there. Perhaps these caquitas are actually shriveled up earthworms that have drowned in the much-needed but too-intense rains.
Since I haven’t done my duly diligent research on their holistic health remedies, I’m not ready to harvest the stinging nettle. They are all so green. I’m looking forward to the little game I play with these prolific plants: grab them by the base, don’t touch the leaves, don’t let the leaves brush against my work clothes, push ’em into the bin head first to minimize the spread of their seeds, and (this takes the most effort) avoid pushing back my eyeglasses or stray hair strands! Etiquette professes: “No matter how much it itches, don’t scratch!”
Then again, perhaps these nettles are trying to imbibe me with their medicine, no matter how great a barrier I think I’m constructing. Perhaps I owe my continued life, so far, to these little and not so little monsters. (With great apologies to Lady Gaga!)