Utopia would a place where everyone had a reverence for life. An acceptance for all variations of peoples. I say 'variations' because I do not accept that there are races within the Human species, only variations on an original theme.
This acceptance would extend to most all forms of life. In Utopia, we Humans would co exist with the mountain lion, the black widow spider and the deadly black mamba, because in this paradise, we would have learned how to live along side these creatures in such a manner, they posed no threat to us.
Although we may one day know how to deal with these creatures in such a way we won't need to kill them to avoid the danger they present to we Humans, Utopia will never be. It's just a pipe dream.
Many of the Native Americans had beautiful concepts regarding 'Animal' life around them. The horse was not thought of as an animal. The horse was a brother. And when a racoon was caught and slaughtered to feed hungry children, a prayer seeking forgiveness for taking the animal's life was offered up. Beautiful concepts, all gone with the wind.
Love (accept and respect) thy neighbor
Variety truly is the spice of life. I never understood why some cultures refused to permit any outsiders into their mono cultures. Even peoples with the same lineage separate themselves into clans. Not uncommon at all with early settlers of the Ozark mountains.
"Can we all just get along" I say we can. But only when we have learned to accept that other people's customs give meaning to their lives. They don't want to be deprived of those very things that make them who they are. I live in a multi cultural neighborhood. I am glad I do. It adds variety and spice to my life. I would though, choose that the eventual blending of those different cultures come about as a natural course of events rather than any one's customs being forced on another.
The Rat Prevails
My long time neighbor is an early riser. He goes to Bojangles for a cup of coffee, brings it home and enjoys it while sitting in his back yard. His back yard adjoins the back yard of fairly new neighbors living in the next block. Sitting in his back yard gives him a front row center view. Being the inquisitive (nosy) sort, he takes full advantage of that position.
I learned from him that the new neighbor husband was running an unlicensed garage in his back yard, having no respect for local laws. I learned that the neighbor wife ran a mobile catering service. Sandwiches were prepared in the home and sold from the back of the catering truck at various industrial sites.
I also learned that unsold sandwiches were kept in the truck overnight. Before loading new sandwiches onto the truck next morning, the old sandwiches were thrown into the back yard.
My neighbor said, 'Doug, you wouldn't believe it. Sometimes I sit here in the morning and count as many as fifteen big, and I do mean 'Big', rats in their back yard. They're after those sandwiches the people throw out'.
The neighbors eventually did vacate. They chose to return to their home country. With the house empty, my inquisitive neighbor went in and looked around. He said, 'Doug, you wouldn't believe it. That house was covered with roaches. I mean 'covered'. They were everywhere on the floor. They were climbing every wall and were all over the ceiling. You just wouldn't believe it unless you saw it for yourself'.
Now, I know why those catering trucks are called Roach Coaches.
What's Mine Is Yours
Well, People, that's a lot of rats suddenly deprived of a hearty breakfast every morning. Wanting to eat just like anybody else, they set out to find food elsewhere. For a gracious lot of them, that elsewhere was Doug's place. Not a greasy spoon diner on 42nd Street, but Doug's home!
I have trapped so many rats inside my home in the past month, I have lost count. Granted, they do not frequent that coveted area I covered with boric acid, but I can't put boric acid everywhere!
A few pairs of doves like the area around my home, so I buy and distribute seed just for them. I even throw some onto bare spots in my field. That's just what I did today before setting out on a 4 hour errand.
When I returned, I looked out at the field. I thought, 'Gosh, that squirrel has a funny way of walking'. Well, Y'all, it wasn't a squirrel. It was a big rat. I'm sure it was another big rat accustomed to being fed by my departed neighbors. It had found the seed I had put out for the doves. One rat eating my bird seed. It's no big deal, forget about it, Doug. Let it go.
But wait. There seems to be a menagerie here. Squirrels coming and going. Many birds around. And that rat. What's this? The birds, even the little ones, were swooping down to peck that rat, hoping to scare it off. During all that commotion, I learned there was not just one rat. I had to get my camera. I have never seen so many rats congregating in broad daylight. Within five minutes, I had trapped two.
I use to put out traps for the occasional rat. I quit because sometimes I would get a bird. Now, I must put out traps, lots of traps. Guess I'll have to put them out at night and take them in before Sunrise. I won't harm the birds if I can help it.
To my departed neighbors: Had you had respect for our laws regarding food prepared for sale to the public, this neighborhood would not now be infested with rats. Fortunately, with all the boric acid I spread around, your roaches have not become my roaches. As for your rats: It may be your custom to tolerate rat infestations. It is not my custom. It seems you had no respect for my customs. I just wish to hell you had taken all your rats back with you!
The situation has gotten so bad, I have enlisted the help of the Councilman for my ward. The last four pictures were taken 2 days after I wrote this article.
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Since writing this 'Part Two', Have learned even more. I would have thought a rat infestation would/could pose a health problem and that the local county health department would have some jurisdiction in the matter. I learned that department does not 'handle such cases'.
I learned that the county animal control department will not get involved in the matter unless there are known cases of rabies associated with the infestation.
The city department of inspections was the one agency that would step in and take action. They would investigate any homes thought to have conditions which would aid in the proliferation of the rat population. They would set traps in sewers and waterways (public property only).
It seems there are ordinances pertaining to how long dog food can be left out after the dog has eaten. The department would take action where these ordinances were being violated. I was advised to not feed birds with commercial bird seed. I assume this applied only to places where rats could gain access.
To shorten my own reply, I have trapped so many rats that I alone have reduced their numbers to a point there no longer seems to be an 'infestation'. I have not seen a rat in several days.
A lot can be said for the old quote, 'When in Rome, do as the Romans do'. You don't go to England and drive on the same side of the street as you do in the States. Newcomers to a community should learn local ordinances. It might be acceptable to urinate in public in your old homeland, but not in your new.
The world is becoming smaller by the minute. In time, multi cultural communities will be the rule rather than the exception. People migrating to new communities may have to give up some customs if they are in direct conflict with old established customs.
Having respect for others is becoming more important than ever. As the World's population continues to increase, the amount of space available to each person is reduced. The closer together we live, the stronger the need for respect.
Yes, we all can get along. The first step in doing so is having or cultivating mutual respect.
What a mess! This pains me that you are having to go through this,
and really - it is very difficult to find a "law" that will stop this from happening or even an agency that can help clean it up.
An unpleasant sight for most, it's something I'm glad to see. This is the last of the rats to invade my home (for now). I've been trying to get this one for over two weeks.
I kept a trap loaded with peanut butter but it wouldn't go near it. Out of desperation, I put down two more traps baited with peanuts. Then it decides to go for the peanut butter after avoiding it for two weeks.
It's been an ordeal. I've never gone through an actual rat infestation, before. I want to thank all who commented, giving their support, sympathy and suggestions.
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