November 17, 2011 § Leave a comment
We walk here now and then, down the road from where we live. The open space to the west is full of prairie dogs. Tassie perks up her ears when she sees them and hears their chirruping, squeaking little noises.
The residents of Boulder County are fiercely divided over these creatures: they multiply rapidly, invade wide swaths of land, and make holes that horses and livestock might step into. But they are rather cute-looking, living things. Those who would save them post bumper stickers reading “I brake for prairie dogs” on their cars. I tend to be caught between these views; I could argue for either stance if I felt like it. I grew up loving nearly all animals, but I have also learned to understand systems, so I admit I lean towards implementing some kind of population control. Loss of predators is a serious reality in our country, even in Colorado – and so is dealing with the severe swings in other animal populations that result.
Tassie would love to run after the prairie dogs, and I would love to let her – she can’t catch them, anyway – but the leash law folks have been cracking down lately and I can’t afford a fine. It has made my country-home cravings especially strong this week; I want a place where my animals can run, and I can run with them. No ropes required.
So we walk on, down the sidewalk that will curve back through mini-mansions and towards our apartment. A clear path. I suppose it’s nice sometimes to have something so direct. Go this way. No being caught between anything. No decisions to make or directions to assess. Is this right? You don’t have to think about it. You just follow, and let your mind rest.