by Edgar Guest
The little house is not too small
to shelter friends who come to call.
Though low the roof and small its space
it holds the Lord’s abounding grace
and every simple room may be
endowed with happy memory.
The little house, severely plain,
a wealth of beauty may contain.
Within it those who dwell may find
high faith which makes for peace of mind
and that sweet understanding which
can make the poorest cottage rich.
The little house can hold all things
from which the soul’s contentment springs.
It’s not too small for love to grow,
for all the joys that mortals know,
for mirth and song and that delight
which makes the humblest dwelling bright.
From the book, Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest,
©1934 by the Reilly & Lee Co
The Ragtag Daily Prompt for today: ENOUGH!
The Word of the Day Challenge: USUAL
Sue’s Jibber Jabber prompt word: HISTORY
Fandango’s One-Word Challenge: BABY
And here’s my response — an oft-beaten drum of mine:
Down with Imports!
I’d like to meet the fellow who thought we needed English sparrows here in Canada. I’d like him to know just what havoc he has wrought, how badly these aggressively invasive pests have decimated the native population. Already at risk because man has taken over their native land, our local birds also have to contend with these invasive imports. Add starlings to this list, too.
Some of my current grief is our own fault, I will admit. Last winter we thought we’d put out a feeder for chickadees, woodpeckers, nuthatches — all those cute birds that do linger here over winter. And what did we get? Oodles of English sparrows. Unlike the native birds, they have no idea of migrating, no native southern winter region.
This spring when my tree swallows returned, the sparrows were still hanging around even though we’d quit putting out feed a month before. One pair claimed one of the nest boxes we’ve set up for swallows. Another pair took over the swallow house on the north side of our house. One pair of swallows looked like they’d hang onto the south-side nest. But no. The sparrows drove them out, too. I only hope they didn’t kill the swallows as they are wont to do. I was furious when I found a dead swallow in the nest two years ago; the sparrows just built on top of their victim.
Enough! It’s too late to provide nests for the swallows and I don’t want a bunch of starving baby birds around our yard, so I’ll leave things as they are until summer’s over. But once our usual birds have left I’m inviting my grandsons over with their rifles and we can have a Sparrow Liquidation.
Invasive Species Still Coming
This is my personal grief, but others in this area have had grief because some light-bulbs thought they could import wild boars for sport hunting. The creatures thrived; with no natural enemies they soon took over woodlands. Now to get rid of them! A few years back our menfolk had a giant boar hunt and killed as many as they could. But the creatures have great instincts for survival.
History is full of examples of species brought over from “the old country” to become a horrible nuisance in a new world. Rabbits in Australia, for one. And Canada geese. Fine here, but they aren’t wanted in Australia. Anacondas in the Everglades are the product of exotic pet sales. Ditto with the piranhas dumped in the Southern lakes and rivers.
Some people have no comprehension as to what they’ll do when the reptile or fish they wanted as a “novelty pet” gets too big — or the owner has to move — or whatever. But our governments should be able to learn from history and ban the import of exotic creatures.
And they have, to some extent. But if some teenager wants a Komodo dragon because it’s “rare and unique,” somebody else will find a way to capture one and smuggle it in. And this is really sad, because how many little ones will die in risky transit methods?
I read an interesting new item one time: a woman coming in by plane was stopped at US customs and it was discovered she had fourteen rare baby lizards — illegal to import — stuffed in her blouse. Destined for sale as rare pets. Two stars for SANGFROID; five stars for INANITY.
Save the native flora and fauna from extinction!
Ban the import of exotic species.
It’s a beautiful, semi-sunny afternoon here and I have a short while to write before I head off to make supper for the folks at the Villa. Our landscape is lush and green after several heavy rains this last week; the crops look beautiful at this moment and the sloughs have some water in them again. Wrens nesting in the yard greet us with bursts of song as we step out the door.
I was looking at the various prompt words this morning and have decided to do a “conflation” — which was Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day yesterday. A conflation is a blend or fusing. So I’m going to interfuse the various prompt words with a rambling account of life at our house. So this will be an inter-rambling. (“Rambleflation” just didn’t cut it.)
Life has changed for me in the past week, as I’ve left the comfort of my office chair and well situated PC keyboard for a more nomadic life with a laptop at the table. And this setup is not ergonomic, but hopefully will only be for a season.
Sue’s Jibber Jabber prompt word for today is TRIP. Unfortunately for me, some microscopic organisms — aka “mites” have hitched a ride into the house on our cat and decided that
a) — the location where they hopped off seemed promising re: settlement. (This being my vinyl office chair where the cats love to curl up when I’m not in it. (I’ve mentioned this issue before.)
b) My flesh tastes about as good as any other. (A fact the mosquitoes have already established.) A tiny nip now and then seems to satisfy them. It doesn’t satisfy me, however.
Merriam-Webster’s word for today is STALWART, and I’m not, when it comes to getting bitten. Summer is hard on me in that respect; mosquito and other bug bites never used to cause me the grief they do now.
As I said, they are microscopic. I feel a tiny itch and see nothing, but a dot soon shows up and swells into a red lump. A few days ago I was typing on my computer and felt that tiny itch on my hand. I looked down and, sure enough, a red spot was appearing. Must have had my hand on the chair and the thing migrated. Hubby either never gets bitten or doesn’t react, but I’m allergic to bug bites, mosquito bites, etc., and get big red lumps. I’m apt to get a bite around my thighs at the edge of the chair.
Thankfully the rest of the house is okay — Thanks much, Mr Vacuum, or whoever invented said device. But a small colony of mites must have established itself in the folded seams of the vinyl of my chair at one point. I’ve liberally sprayed the whole area several times, blocked the cats’ access to my desk chair and vacated, leaving the critters to starve. I’ve set up my laptop in the dining room for the duration, but it’s not quite so easy, nor comfortable, to ensconce myself and write to my heat’s content.
On to a better subject. Being a lover of history, I was very tempted when I saw these books offered as Book Cave special this morning: ANGLO-SAXON KINGDOMS. These days when I’m very tempted, I put the books on my wish list — though I fear I’ll never live long enough to make it to the end!
The Ragtag Daily Prompt today is ALMOST — a word that suits almost every circumstance. For example, “It’s almost time for me to leave for work.”
And the Word of the Day prompt is READY, an equally multi-purpose word. Once I put in the links, this post will be ready to publish.
Thanks to someone who just subscribed today, I now 2777 followers — rather an interesting number I think. I’d like to say thank you to every one of you who have taken the time to read my posts, to leave comments, and especially to follow this blog.
I’m going to be otherwise occupied with things around the home and yard for a few days, but thought I would dig into my DropBox files and share a number of verses with you this weekend. They may be haiku, free verse, or mini-poems — ones I’ve written and a few from other poets. I hope you’ll enjoy them.
Here’s one I wrote a few years back, and touched up a bit now:
Blazing peach and gold sunset
coddled by purple grey clouds
that seem to hold it back for us
to admire just a moment longer.
For awhile its glow delights us
but too soon, drawn beyond,
its gold slips into the treasury
of uncounted yesterdays.
Sue’s Jibber Jabber Daily Word Prompt for today was LIVELY.
Here’s a poem I wrote back in 2012 that I think will make a good response to this prompt:
tears my house to shreds
torpedoes across the carpets
pokes at, overturns, leaves permanent marks
of teeth in longsuffering houseplants—
in cushioned velvet chair,
soft paws waving like fronds
trying to snag a quick mouse,
or shred the leaves