By Marilyn Zink, Herbal Collective publisher
A rat in the garden can be a shocking thing to encounter.
Yet it does happen and gardeners should expect to encounter the rodents if there is an abundance of food available.
Years ago I was busy in the garden, going through the herbs and vegetables, pruning and weeding as I went.
Then I went over to a trellis that was leaning against the wall – it had big plump juicy berries, they must have been raspberries though it could have been something else.
I had my head down, looking through the branches for ripe berries to pick while yanking at the occasional weed and clearing out dead branches and leaves.
It was a hot sunny day. Bumblebees buzzed lazily about, butterflies and dragonflies flitted to and fro, birds twittered in the bushes.
I was totally engrossed in what I was doing. There was no warning.
Then, by chance, I happened to look up and locked eyes with the largest rat I have ever seen on the top crossbar of the trellis.
We both stared at each other for a split second, the rat’s eyes getting bigger and bigger and I imagine so did mine.
That was long enough for me to let out an ear shattering scream!
The rat instantly turned heel, sprinted down the bar of the trellis as fast as its legs would carry it, leaping off at the end and soaring through the air until it hit the ground running at the neighbors property.
I must have screamed the whole time as it beat out of there and never, ever came back.
My whole body was trembling for several minutes after that.
I can laugh about it now.
Encountering a rat is one creature you may come across while gardening.
You may encounter snakes, bees, butterflies, dragonflies or spiders.
We share the environment with these creatures so despite my rat encounter, it’s still important to recognize how important creatures are to our ecosystem.
While I dislike wasps intensely, I recognize they have a purpose on earth.
Rats do too, as do spiders, bees, butterflies, dragonflies, slugs, aphids, centipedes and any other creature you can think of.
Yet it doesn’t stop me or anyone else from growing things.
Do you want to learn more about herbs and how to grow them?
I promise there is lots to discover, as herbs can enhance our lives in so many ways.
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