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December 2, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Brush with distress.

At twilight the trail path curved left hiding what was just beyond (ALL rights reserved. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted)

Twilight. The path curved hiding what waited just beyond. ©

Too stunned to scream? Or desperately hoping to wake up from the nightmare.

Four or five of them already had her. Treating her more roughly than the sidewalk under her back.

Several more were slinking out of shadowy cracks. Ready to join in.

She writhed. Knowing there was little time.

Struggled to break away.

Trying to crawl off like a fatally injured animal.

No time to acknowledge the pain.

Don’t know if she saw me. Knew I was there.

Never saw her eyes. She was completely focused on her tormentors.

Fighting to survive.

Growing weaker from the effort.

Quick resolution: one swoop with a large sturdy leaf to launch her safely into the wet grass.

Earthworms have a hard time if they decide to warm themselves in the sun on a sidewalk near some ants.

Saving Grace. No cliché.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” (Dalai Lama XIV)

“The creatures that inhabit this earth–be they human beings or animals–are here to contribute, each in its own particular way, to the beauty and prosperity of the world.” Dalai Lama XIV)

“The Chinese government wants me to say that for many centuries Tibet has been part of China. Even if I make that statement, many people would just laugh. And my statement will not change past history. History is history.” (Dalai Lama XIV)

Happy little tree along Pine Gully during fall. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted.

For some reason, this little tree just looked really happy. Maybe it thinks it’s being silly-naughty waving around and tossing off its’ leaves? In any case, tree’s free. Shouldn’t Tibet be? ©





  1. shoreacres / Dec 2 2016 9:28 am

    That last photo: is that over in Seabrook, on the path along Todville? As for your good deed on behalf of the earthworm, this, from Annie Dillard: “We have not yet encountered any god who is as merciful as a man who flicks a beetle over on its feet.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 4 2016 9:52 am

      It’s the middle path to Pine Gully’s middle trail (park at the prairie reserve spot on left side of Todville. The grasses have been mowed this year?)
      Didn’t see any bunnies this time, but lots of deer tracks around the thickets.
      Great quote! Thanks for hiking along


  2. Carrie Rubin / Dec 2 2016 9:58 am

    Your quotes remind me of one I used in my novel: “When we show our respect for other living things, they respond with respect to us.” An Arapaho quote.

    Hope you’re doing well!

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 4 2016 9:49 am

      I like that quote. While the Plains tribes killed buffalo and ate meat, they used every single bit of the animal and gave thanks for the kill (and for not starving or freezing).
      While much further south than you, it’s miserable chilly rain with freezing heads our way. (Shrug) It’s winter and there the fireplace is merry. (But Molly may be getting a raincoat and booties for Christmas)
      Always glad to see you aroung the neighborhood. Thanks for brushing up the comment pile

      Liked by 1 person

  3. cindy knoke / Dec 2 2016 12:35 pm

    How beautifully written!


  4. PiedType / Dec 2 2016 11:21 pm

    You had me going. But I applaud your rescue regardless of the survivor’s size.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 4 2016 9:34 am

      I can’t stand to see things squirming in deadly pain. Had to turn around and go back. It was just an individual innocently wandering into a bad neighborhood. Thanks for adding a wiggling comment


  5. Jane Dougherty / Dec 3 2016 5:56 am

    It’s hard not to intervene sometimes, but what were the ants going to eat? I’ve rescued a bumblebee from a spider, not just the web, the ferocious spider, and I’m terrified of spiders. But that was a decision based on daftness—I like bees, I don’t like spiders. So, did I starve that spider? Some people call it playing God, but as one of your commenters pointed out, God stays out of all issues, even earthworms’. Some God, I say.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 4 2016 9:27 am

      Actually earthworms are not on the fire ant’s menu. This was a defensive move by the ants who are very aggressive if anything gets near their beds – especially as the weather turns cold/rainy (I mean, you have to understand, they keep rebuilding and rebuilding after each downpour which we are having constantly right now. Ants, too, get frustrated and tired.)
      We are careful with outdoor spiders and webs as we prefer their mosquito control to using poisons. Huge webs strung across breezy paths right now. Pesticides are bad for the declining bee population also. I doubt the spider starved. Or the fire ants who are located near litter barrels, hikers who will drop apple/orange/ granola bits – and there’s their normal dietary items in the wild. (Most ants don’t eat meat. Fire ants, however, will eat meat from aphids, spiders, insects, or other ants. They will swarm and kill calves and small animals when they go after the water in eyes, noses, mouths, or membranes during drought)
      I don’t like to see thing suffer needlessly. With our gumbo soil, earthworms are extrememly valued if you want to grow anything. But those guys should be careful sunbathing to stay away from fire ant beds!
      Oh, God. We were taught He was busy with big things like creating universes and stuff and He wasn’t going to bother with helping you pass tests. Humans were given brains and expected to use them. It appears humans are still working on that task…looking for the instruction manual?
      Thanks for making the comment section squirm!


      • Jane Dougherty / Dec 4 2016 9:47 am

        Fire ants sound like a plague. Give me bees any day 🙂


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 4 2016 9:54 am

          But not killer bees…too bad they can’t pit those two aggressive species against each other? (Oh some sci-fi script is being written as we speak…)


        • Jane Dougherty / Dec 4 2016 10:13 am

          Ping! Lightbulb moment! The very first Doctor Who series that I have even the haziest of memories of, was set on a planet where giant ants and giant wasps were fighting it out in some sort of underground cavern. Doctor Who got there first.

          Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 4 2016 11:03 am

          Oh, you’re right! (must be rumbling around backstage in the brain?) Cool observation


        • Jane Dougherty / Dec 4 2016 11:13 am

          I have no idea what it was called. Scared the s**t out of me when I was little.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 4 2016 3:13 pm

          I haaaave to find it!


        • Jane Dougherty / Dec 5 2016 12:59 am

          The BBC didn’t keep the early episodes so I fear it’s gone forever 😦


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 5 2016 8:57 am

          OMG – there must be a script – the original writer still around. Let the hunt begin!


        • Jane Dougherty / Dec 5 2016 9:03 am

          Down in the vaults where the old series go
          Perhaps there’s a story, we may never know
          For the Beeb thought kids’ programmes not worth the space
          So many treasures sunk without trace.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 7 2016 7:00 am

          Seems like I remember some cheap sci-fi film poster with a huge red ant looming over the always present pretty girl in a sweater screaming with fear on the ground, too. Ants – a timeless pest? (and now I really will have to do some research…)


        • Jane Dougherty / Dec 7 2016 7:35 am

          Somebody got bitten once too often maybe.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. The Hook / Dec 3 2016 6:25 am

    I have chills – and it’s not because I I have malaria…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 4 2016 8:49 am

      No special coating will help..
      (Oh, would you believe the local news here did a big segment on the Niagra Falls’ lights and ice? Really beautiful.)
      Thanks for icing down a comment to leave


  7. Littlesundog / Dec 3 2016 11:11 am

    I see I’m not the only one to rescue insects and small critters. 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 4 2016 7:56 am

      Earthworms are important for this gumbo soil. And I can’t watch suffering. It was a defensive attack against a percieved. Earthworms crawling towards warmth and not noticing the fire ant bed. Even the UN intervenes against brutality sometimes. Sometimes seems like patterns repeated over and over on various scales/creatures? Thanks for stepping over to chat


  8. heretherebespiders / Dec 3 2016 1:22 pm

    I did a post before about this! I’ll save the worms but kill the slugs. Ants? Don’t see them here and I NEVER want to. Only insect that freaks me right out. Oh, no, surprise maggots do, too. If I expect them, fine. But ‘surprise! Maggots!’…nope.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 4 2016 7:52 am

      Slugs remind me of leeches. UGH. Stepping on an unseen slug in the dark – double ugh – shoes or no shoes! Thanks for wiggling along.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. the dune mouse / Dec 4 2016 7:03 pm

    oh yes, I’ve always given earthworms a helping hand to the side of the road – they’ve never learned to use the correct crossing- and they’ve always repaid me by aerating the soil in my garden.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 5 2016 7:46 am

      Worms don’t seem to look both ways before even starting across the street. Noticing a nearby ant bed apparently is completely out of their line of sight. Handicapped or stubborn? Who knows. Worms, like all creatures, should find what they are good at and dig into that.Thanks for being a worm guardian.

      Liked by 1 person

      • the dune mouse / Dec 5 2016 10:19 am

        🙂 Yes, I wormed my way in. But it’s great to throw off your outer garments like a superhero and reveal the truth of who you are- I like that- “Worm Guardian!!”


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