The Sticky Problem


 There is a nest in the middle of the bougainvillea on my back porch. Two birds guard it. Each morning, a neighbor cat sits at the bottom of the bush and is attacked by the birds defending their nest. How's that for thrilling excitement? I am amazed that birds can build a nest in such a dangerous thorny bush. There is another one in an especially dangerous cacti in the border. When I work in the yard, I wear gigantic thick rubber gloves typically used to handle radiation or horrible chemicals. I still am injured weekly. Once, a spine went in through one finger and came out the other side two weeks later.

Some may say, "What for the love of God is wrong with you? Why would you put dangerous thorny cacti and succulents around the pool?" But if you ever worry about children running around the pool, this is a good deterrent. They see all those sharp points and needles and walk very carefully along the flagstone. The cacti in the planter behind the kitchen has proven problematic. Supposedly this is where one plants flowers. When the cactus gets too large and the pods stick into the path, I hear complaints as people pass them. "Who thought this was a good idea? Dammit!" is a common saying at many barbecues. And I do hurt myself whenever I clean the windows there.

But, what's beauty without suffering. And what a wonderful surprise if a trespasser climbs over the back fence at night and walks right into my trap.

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