Too Afraid to Be Free

One of the many challenges of gardening is dealing with pests. Though the birds, insects and varmints are free to live pretty much anywhere besides residential housing, somehow they gravitate to the garden. When there is mutual benefit, it’s not a problem. But when the invaders steal, kill and destroy, appropriate action must be taken.

Fortunately, the birds and insects tend to keep things in balance. The rabbits pose problems only during certain seasons. But the squirrels, chipmunks, mice, moles and voles are the real problem. The destructive digging, uprooting and damaging behaviors of these little creatures is deplorable. Without a natural predator, they wreak havoc on the garden and multiply.

Because the residential area provides protection from natural predators, the destructive animals are not free to live the life that was intended for them. They have no concept of what real danger is. Worse, they don’t even know how to really hunt for and gather food because they rely on the neighbors who think it’s cute to provide an ample supply of corn, seeds and nuts for the furry visitors. They are slaves to entitlement.

Though the problem is not likely to be solved any time soon, one way to mitigate the devastation is to use live traps. The animals are so accustomed to supplied food that they readily enter the traps because they have a skewed perception of danger. And when they reach their new destination, in the wild, many miles away in a wooded area, they never leave the open cage without prompting. They are too afraid to be free!

So what are the consequences of living a life afraid to be free? One where we choose to stay in places where we don’t have to learn the basic survival skills of protecting ourselves and providing our own basic needs? Eventually, we become trapped. And even when we are allowed to leave the trap, without recourse, we cringe back in fear because freedom means change, having to face our fears and learn to live the way we were intended. Is it better to be a slave to fear or live free?

©, February 20, 2018

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