He Sets the Trap

He Sets the Trap

He sets the gray plastic trap, putting peanut

butter on the triggering mechanism.  Once

in a while he sprinkles bird seed on the butter

and leaves a trail of seeds up to the opening

of the entrance to the animals’ den.  Once in

a while from his back porch he hears the trap

trigger and once in a while the weight of the

butter prematurely sets it off.  But more than

once in a while, it’s triggered by the prey.

Friends call him the chipmunk killer or Valde-

mort, the evil slayer of Alvin, but he knows

Alvin and the Chipmunks burrow against

his seventeen thousand dollar rubber lined

pond and water fall and scratch and bite like

crazy to extend their tunnels of love. He carries

the entrapped chipmunks to the Hades

behind his house and with one swing opens

the trap and watches the critter fly in death

like he never did in life. One day he caught two

and left them side by side with a second accur-

ate toss. The next day he caught one and as he

was about to grant the postmortem flight to chip-

munk heaven, he noticed the two were gone.

Ah, ha, he thought.  Justification.  He no longer was

the vile killer of cute critters.  He was a scientist, a human-

itarian, a conservationist, an environmentalist enlisted to

affirm Darwin’s work on the necessity of the food chain

for balance and harmony in life.  It didn’t work on

his friends but the neighbors’ de-clawed cat purrs as

she rubs against his pant leg.

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