Running Local

This Train of Thought Makes All Stops

Vegetables and Bloodlust

Posted by Bob Kohm on July 9, 2009

My son could make a Vegan cry. Which is good, come to think of it, because Vegans should cry. Here’s some bacon to dry their tears.

Marcus is a sweet kid; he’s compassionate to a fault, he has a greater weight in stuffed animals in his bed than he weighs himself, his teachers have used him to help the kids who aren’t getting along in class because everyone likes Marcus and Marcus can tolerate anyone.

Animals? If this isn’t the kid who grows up to actually become a vet I’ll be shocked. At three he decided on his own to run a lemonade stand and give the money to”whale scientists”, he fawns over his pets and talks constantly (and if you know him you know what “talking constantly” really means…) about animals.

Marcus had a new obsession this Spring– he wanted to plant a vegetable garden because “it would be good for the Earth”. Ten trips to Lowes and the local nursery, two weekends of ripping up old tree roots and building 12×10 garden boxes and a dumptruck load of topsoil moved up a hill a wheelbarrow at a time and voila, Marcus had his garden. He busted his butt working next to me to put the whole thing together and takes an extreme amount of pride int he whole endeavor. The daily “checking the vegetables” has become a sacred ritual.

Yesterday we came home form the day’s outings, pulled into the driveway and saw– gasp– a rabbit coming out of the garden.  Marcus’ usual reaction to seeing a rabbit runs towards, “Wow, a bunny! Do you think she has baby bunnies? Do you think we can have a bunny for a pet? Do you think we can have bunny babies?”, which generally goes on for about 20 minutes or until he sees the next animal.

Yesterday was slightly different. Yesterday’s bunny was met with a scream of “WHAT is that bunny doing in OUR garden?!?!?!?!?” He charged up the hill out of the van screaming the whole way at the formerly beloved bunny, which, of course, hopped away at Bunny Mach 3 much to Marcus’ consternation. He had turned into our family dog who bolts from the backdoor to chase squirrels that he never catches and wouldn’t know what to do with if he ever did.

With the immediate crisis passed, Marcus set about surveying the apparent carnage… which consisted of one of the first ripe tomatoes of the season and a not so ripe one partially munched. Hanging offenses if ever there were any in the court of Judge Marcus.

Marcus immediately set his mind to ways of keeping the bunnies at bay. He spent the next ten minutes designing elaborate bunny traps that would allow us to capture and relocate the offending lagamorphs to woodlands far from our own bordering woods or that would discourage the bunny from eating OUR vegetables. He decided that these would be unworkable, and things darkened.

The next set of ideas was decidedly more violent. “Daddy, maybe we could get Rob to come over with his bow and arrows and kill the bunnies!” “Daddy, how do rat traps work?” Finally, “Daddy, just leave Tonka out. He killed a snake, he can eat the bunnies!”

Wow. I guess it all goes to show that underneath all of the kiddy cuteness we’re accustomed to seeing in our kids beats the heart of the coldly rational adult… if you dig deep enough to find it. It’s so easy to take kids at face value and forget that there is so much going on within their little heads and hearts.

Especially when they get in touch with their inner adult and declare a rampage against cute little bunnies who eat OUR vegetables.

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4 Responses to “Vegetables and Bloodlust”

  1. Jude Baldo said

    This is why Orson Scott Card used children as the protagonists for Ender’s Game. Glad to see the train running again Bob.

  2. Kathy said

    This saddens me. Maybe he’s not too young for Monty Python.

  3. Bob Kohm said

    Which reminds me to limit Marcus’ Wii time, Jude…

  4. Bob Kohm said

    …and to think, it wasn’t even a white rabbit, Kath.

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