Snow White Syndrome.

Learning that wild animals are living a cozy existence in your backyard might infuriate some people, but I’m tickled pink. My husband, on the other hand, is seeing red! He views them as germ-infested, invasive creatures who don’t belong on our property, while I believe that we’re the ones crashing their pad. It was their home first, right?

Today’s crankiness crusher was thinking about my wild kingdom. As the animals flock to our yard, it makes me feel like I’m their Snow White. 🙂 I smile when I see the fat squirrel make off with a huge piece of bread as he runs along the top of our fence. I love pointing out the bunnies in our yard and how my kids’ eyes light up when they see them hopping along. I enjoy birdwatching from the kitchen window as they cheerfully come and go from our bird feeder.

Our pic of Rocco was too dark, but this guy is just as cute!

Our yardmate Gilbert the Groundhog has dug humongous burrows near the foundation of our house, but I would never set a trap or call Animal Control. He’s just too darn cuddly looking! (Those of you who aren’t animal lovers are probably rolling your eyes at this sentence.) I’m sure I’ll catch him scurrying off with a bunch of my flower heads filling up his cheeks soon. Last night, I noticed that the bird feeder tempted a new animal friend–a raccoon (who I’ll call Rocco). I seriously thought it was a huge gray cat sitting on our deck until he turned sideways and I saw the black mask. He must have been there for an hour sticking his snout into the bird feeder and chowing down on the wild berry square I had put out for them. My husband snapped a picture of him with his iPhone, and while he was upset that we have yet another rodent to worry about, he admitted that he looked kind of cute using his little hands to scavenge for food. It appears that Rocco even managed to knock some of the crankiness out of him!

German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once said, “Compassion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of character.” Knowing that the animals feel our yard is a safe place for them makes me happy–and it gives me more opportunities to nurture the living things around me. What’s your take-away from all of this? If you live somewhere where the wild life is abundant, try to focus on living in harmony with nature rather than instinctively chasing it away. The critters may bring you more happiness than you thought!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Melissa's Meanderings
    May 23, 2011 @ 12:50:31

    I could not agree more, Tara! As Albert Einstein said, “Our task must be to free ourselves…by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”

    I’ve given you an award:


  2. Joss
    May 23, 2011 @ 19:08:53

    Came here via melissas meanderings and I’m glad I found a lover of critters. I too name them ones on the property. Sally the Snapper, Marty the Mink, although sometimes I refer to the red squirrels as little terrorist because they can be mean to the songbirds!
    walk in beauty.


    • Tara Rummell Berson
      May 23, 2011 @ 23:53:14

      Thanks for joining us here, Joss! I LOVE that you also name your community of critters, and cracked up over what you call the red squirrels. I look forward to reading your blog and those listed on your blog roll. Continue to enjoy life–and all of those wonderful animals that surround you!


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