The Only Thing Exterminated Here is the Death Penalty 

In my last job, we weren’t allowed to kill the bugs.

At the Inn at Bella Vista, this little one is safe.

Okay, it’s a bed & breakfast, so they had an exterminator come out on a regular basis for the comfort of their guests, but if a wasp flew into the dining room, you called Bill. He’d show up with the bug jar, capture the wasp and set it free.

Which is all well and good, but in my house, you take out the Raid.

The mice were saved, too, whenever possible. One such soul, Rodney, kept coming back, even though Bill would capture him in one of those humane traps and take him far into the woods in back. I’m not sure how he knew it was Rodney every time, but they developed a bond of sorts.

Sorry, Walter, little Rodney can’t play today.

I couldn’t help myself. I offered to bring over my cat, Walter, for a play date with Rodney. That suggestion was met with a wounded look from Bill.

Despite my jokes, I respect Bill’s philosophy. It comes as a direct result of his time serving as a Marine in Vietnam and a police officer in Little Rock in the 70s. He’s seen enough killing and death.

He tells stories of his time on the force, but never as a Marine in combat. Something true of many, if not most, servicemen and women. What they witnessed, and took part in, during war is not something they want to remember or repeat, in words or actions.

Instead, some, like Bill, try to make sense of what happened by protecting all innocents. Bless the beasts and the children, as they used to say. A phrase born of a country at war. Where are the protest songs today?

We become the people we are today in part by our response or reaction to what happened yesterday. Ideally, it is a response, a chosen way of thinking and being. But what happens when you are thrown into a situation for which you are never prepared, then asked to live with the resulting emotions? The guilt, the shame of an inexplicable experience may result in burying your thoughts and beliefs about what happened. You lose a part of yourself.

There is hope.

Believe in yourself, the person you know yourself to be in spite of the thoughts that hammer at your brain. Seek out the support of others. Never give up in your search for better.

This life is far from perfect. But it is what we’re given for a time, so never give in to the worst. Let the better part of life win.

Image Credit: (bee and flower)courtesy of Pixabay; (hand and butterfly) ©

6 Replies to “The Only Thing Exterminated Here is the Death Penalty ”

  1. I’d have trouble with releasing a mouse that kept returning! Seeing poops in my kitchen drawers was no fun.
    I have to tell you that I love the image with the butterflies and hands. Hope is something I write about quite often – and butterflies are such a wonderful image of transformation.
    Lovely post and it’s very touching how you wrote about Bill.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yes, I agree, knowing that mouse would be coming back was not my favorite idea, but I respected his point of view. I think eventually Rodney disappeared. Probably a hawk got him in the end.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I admittedly try to return whatever enters the residence that doesn’t belong in the residence to the outdoors if feasible. One time we had a bird enter our home and I had the hardest time convincing it the outdoors was its home. I managed to eventually steer it outside and I am sure it slept quite well that night (from exhaustion) after its harrowing experience. (I sure did…!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t mention the care Bill takes with birds. Like you, if one were to get inside, he’d direct it outside. If one hits a window, he’ll check to see if it’s okay and hold it or put it in a special box until it’s well enough to fly away. I admire that quality in anyone.

      Liked by 1 person

I'd love to hear from you!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: