We’ve been doing a bit of pondering lately on the subject of hypocrisy (come on, you wouldn’t recognise us if we weren’t examining some aspect of our hotch-potch life in the minutiae) because we’re a bit worried we’re doing a pretty fine line in it at the moment.
First, some context: As soon-to-be parents, which wasn’t yesterday, we were ironclad over a great many things, the majority which sunk without a trace within the first few months of the eldest off-spring’s beautiful life. Things like: My child will never drip snot in public – that one lasted only until our first unaccompanied supermarket outing and, just quietly, by the end of that foray both mother and child were similarly festooned. Mum will be up and dressed each morning before the babe awakes and never, under any circumstances, will she answer the door in her dressing gown. Hmm…Let’s just say it should be law to never visit those with a new born without warning, clutching something decadent to eat, and the readiness to roll up your sleeves and muck in.
But one edict that remained was the blanket ban on “war toys”. Our home was plastic gun/knife/grenade/assassin accessory free. This became more difficult to enforce with the arrival of The Farmer as, although he was born into the age of gender neutral this, that, and the other, birthday parties continually added to the hidden faux-weapon arsenal on the top of our highest bookcase. And while we’re in a sharing mood, this is where we champions of creativity confess to a fair few kindergarten-built Kalashnikovs and Glocks ending their days in the woodburner, too, because – well – guns are bad.
And so too our collective internal struggle with the charge of hypocrisy: You see, a great section of our Homestead dedicated time is invested in the growing of food. In the absence of a plant-cosseting arena, our windowsills are crammed with seedlings destined for the traffic-jammed vegetable gardens. The amount of hours invested in destoning, weeding, nutrient-enhancing, bug-dissuading, plant cajoling practise is only equaled by those spent cooing and fussing over the Homestead fruit trees. To lose the hearts of your all the lettuces or the juiciest of the no-we’ll-leave-them-just-one-more-day peaches in night time rabbit or possum raids is enough to make you examine your options.
So we did. Research was conducted, course of actions explored, those-in-the-know consulted and we came up with our answer.
Poisoning is horrific as are most traps; they result in a slow and painful death for a being that was only doing what it was hot-wired to do. Humane traps, where the animal is caught and relocated, simply shifts your problem onto someone else’s pitch (rabbits and possums are huge pests here).
So Santa put an air rifle, well up to the job of instant-kill Homestead pest control, under our tree this year. On New Years Day it was sighted in and target practice was mandatory. Some did better than others; some are more enthusiastic.
So are we hypocrites? In reflection, we think not. We humans morph and change according to our experiences and this, we believe, is just another example of adapting. No one is playing games, no one is glorifying anything; this gun is just another tool of the Homestead to be used with care, well maintained, and respected.
And as for the possum, obviously an escaped pet, who hisses like a cat, has no fear of humans, and who loves our fruit trees as much as it dislikes The Goat Herd when she returns home of an evening out (resulting in shrieking phone calls from the car as it glares menacingly through the windscreen at her, teeth bared) it has now become personal…
and she’s our best shot!