Do you know what I am discovering? It is so good to be Queen! I’ve got to tell you, my husband and I retired to paradise. Lawd, have mercy, it is exquisite. I didn’t know that there were places like this on Earth. Everything is simply perfect—at least now it is. You see, in the beginning, I had a bit of a problem with foreign entities coming over the border (the nature preserve my property backs up to) and terrorizing my lawn and landscaping, which I paid a pretty penny for. I’ve shelled out hundreds of dollars to fight terrorism from moles, voles, rabbits, and deer, but to no avail. Then one day, I was listening to some of the GOP candidates, a chancellor of a Christian college, and the attorney of the cop who executed a Black teenager in Chicago, and I realized that they (Trump, Carson, and Huckabee especially, and the bad cop in particular) were onto a weapon of warfare that was ingenious: keep broadcasting fear until the American voter panics in sheer terror, succumbs to the will of the fear mongers, abandons all his or her so-called Judeo-Christian values, and makes decisions from a fear-based rationale! Can we all shout: “HALLELUJAH?”
Cartoon used by permission: John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune/Cagle Cartoons
Of course! Why hadn’t I thought of this tactic as a way to eradicate the terrorists on my land? I’m not saying that all moles, voles, rabbits, and deer are terrorists, but enough of them are to warrant ruthless measures against the entire animal kingdom. (Although, I must say that I’d been taught to always disdain moles in particular, and that “the only good mole was a dead mole.”) Besides, desperate times call for desperate means, and I didn’t spend my hard-earned savings on my retirement Shangri-La to have it overrun by these foreigners.
I’d tried saner means: I’ve used pickle juice, castor oil, bleach, red pepper, juicy fruit gum, and even human hair balls to keep them off my property, but to no avail. I even tried to bribe my next door neighbor’s cat with fancier cat food than what he normally gets to come and patrol my grounds, but he blew me off. I would have tried more diabolical methods (broken glass, razor blades, and explosives in the soil), however, my homeowner’s association frowns upon such tactics. But when I discovered I could broadcast fear through battery-powered ultrasonic devices and vibrators strategically implanted in my golf course perfect lawn, I won the day! These instruments of terror constantly and consistently emit high pitched noises that sound like the screams of a vole/mole/rabbit’s worst enemies causing them to be in a constant state of agitation until they are driven back in terror.
BOOH-RAH! THANK YOU, JESUS! I HAVE WON THE DAY!
Cartoon used by permission: Taylor Jones, El Nuevo, Dia Puerto Rico
Feeling quite smug and very proud of myself, I retired for the evening and promptly began to dream. I dreamt of a gathering of animals deep in the woodlands behind my house. There were a couple moles and voles, a few rabbits, several snakes, two buzzards, and an owl who seemed to be their leader. It appeared to be some type of resistance movement, and pictures of me were plastered all over the trees that encircled them.
[A rather large owl is seen pounding a stick against a tree stump directly in front of him]
OWL: “Order! Let’s all come to order. We have a lot to accomplish tonight before the first light of day, and we have to go back into hiding. We are being terrorized by the worst sort of enemy—a born-again Christian who has abandoned her values. Where the Great God, who created us all, has commanded in scripture that man take dominion over the Earth (as in take care of the Earth and its creatures, which includes not polluting the land), the owner of this bit of Earth has taken it to mean ‘use any means necessary to torment those less fortunate or powerless in order to have an enviable lawn and property.’ Her tactics have brought trauma on all our friends, relatives, and neighbors. It appears that she is being greatly influenced by the fear tactics of a human group called the GOP, which surprises me. I thought she had abandoned that group years so. Anyway, before we can work out our strategy against this homeowner (who refuses to share her resources as Christ commands), we need to have a trial. I call Keisha the Mole as the first witness. Keisha, do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?”
KEISHA THE MOLE: “I do, your Owlness.”
OWL: “Then let us proceed. Little Keisha, you are the last one of your tunnel hood. All your relatives have been obliterated or run off to internment camps. Can you tell us what happened in your own words?”
KEISHA THE MOLE: “Well, you see what had happened was, my family used to live in the hood called the Wilderness Preserve for hundreds of years, but then a nasty-ass ruler came into power. His name be Land Developer, and he cut down a lot of our wooded lots where I grew up. The lady blogger bought a house on one of those lots, and we had no choice but to venture onto her property to get food and shelter ‘cause our homesteads were being systematically destroyed. A lot of us were homeless, and many of us was hungry.”
OWL: “What about the stories we’ve been hearing about your youth being gunned down in the streets by keepers of the law?”
KEISHA THE MOLE: “Well, Missy Landowner say it ‘cause she fears us. I heard her talkin’ to her sista on the phone one day when she was catchin’ the breeze on her screened in porch, and she was pleadin’ with her sister to bring up her BB gun from South Carolina when she come for Christmas. Said she was the law here and she’d shoot to kill every goddamn mole she saw and claim it was ‘cause she feared for her life.”
Cartoon used by permission: Milt Priggee, www.miltpriggee.com
OWL: “All right Miss Keisha, you can step down now. The court calls to the witness stand a Mr. Orlando Vole. Mr. Vole, do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?”
VOLE: “I do your Honor.”
OWL: “Then you may proceed.
O. VOLE: “Before I begin, I need to correct the record. My name is Dr. Orlando Bloom Vole. I have two PhD’s: one in animal husbandry and one in human psychology. I have been observing humans for many years, and it hasn’t been this bad for a long, long time—not since the dark days of lynching in the South. It is as if human hearts have hardened toward each other as well as the Earth that sustains them. I travel far and wide through the tunnels my cousins the moles have provided across Virginia, and yesterday I sat in on a student/faculty meeting at Liberty University—a Christian place of learning which claims to be raising up the next generation of leaders. I heard the Chancellor tell thousands of 18 – 22 year-olds to start packing heat so that if “the Muslims” show up at Liberty, his students and faculty would teach them a lesson. Jerry Falwell, Jr. said: ‘I’ve always thought if more good people had concealed carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in.’ The audience cheered.”
Pat Robertson—a champion of the Religious Right, Founder of Christian Broadcasting Network
OWL: “Immature College kids packing heat on a college campus. What could possibly go wrong with that scenario? Oy vez mir!”
VOLE: “My point is, your Honor, where is the love? If so many of the Christians in this great country of ours have no compassion or restraint toward each other, than the Earth and all of its animal inhabitants are toast. It is as their great book says: ‘In the end of days, man’s love for one another will grow cold.’ Your Honor, it is my opinion that the Conservative Evangelical Christian community has allowed their fears to destroy their values.
OWL: “Thank you, Dr. Vole. Informative as always. And now to our final witness. Would John Deer come up and take the stand? Is John Deer in the house? Has anyone seen John Deer?”
[There is a great commotion in the trees, and much flurry and wing flapping as a giant buzzard lands in the gathering of the animal caucus.]
OWL: “Whooooooo goes there?”
LB: “It’s me, your Honor—Lionel Buzzard. I’ve come on behalf of John Deer. He is no longer with us, but before he had a heart attack due to the terror he suffered at the hands of said blogger, he asked that I read a statement to the court on his behalf.”
LB: “’I, John Deer, being of sound mind but full of fear and angish wish to encourage my fellow friends and neighbors to speak up about the great terrorization brought upon them by the new land owner, Eleanor the Blogger, before it is too late. I didn’t speak up, and I regret it. First Eleanor, the Blogger came for the Moles, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Mole. Then she came for the Voles, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Vole. Then she came for the Rabbits, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Rabbit. Then she came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. Speak up, my friends. SPEAK UP FOR THE REFUGEE, SPEAK UP FOR THE DISENFRANCHISED, THE POOR, THE VOICELESS—SPEAK, BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!’”
Cartoon used by permission: John Darkow, Columbia Daily-Tribune, Missouri/Cagle Cartoons
I woke up the next morning extremely out of sorts. As I sipped my morning coffee while surveying my ornament laden, mole, vole, and deer-free lawn from my office window, I noticed a poster on a stick in the middle of the lit lawn decorations. As I adjusted my binoculars to get a better view, a chill went down my spine, and I knew life would never be the same.
“MOLE LIVES MATTER!
THIS MEANS WAR, BITCH!!”
Cartoon used by permission: The Columbus Dispatch/Cagle Cartoons
I am discovering that if God returned to Earth today, he’d be really pissed. Everything that is going on in the Earth is a test for humanity. Can’t anybody else see that the answer to the test is love, compassion, grace, and mercy—not more guns? We’ve had these tests before, and we humans have summarily failed them because we let fear motivate our actions or render us ineffective. When Hitler came to power, the mostly Christian nation (96% Lutheran and Catholic) of Germany reacted in fear against their Jewish friends and neighbors and the annihilation of 6 million Jews shortly followed. (When the USA had a chance to take in Jewish refugees, we refused to loosen our stringent immigration laws because we were afraid the Germans would slip in with them—so we said. Personally, I think it was outright anti-Semitism.) When the KKK ruled the South during the Jim Crow era in America, lynching and slaughtering Black folks for sport (from ten-year-olds to ninety-year olds), just because we wanted to be treated like human beings, caused most Whites—good church-going people—to turn their backs on our plight. (Have you noticed that all KKK members have always been White, male, and predominately Christians [thus the burning cross to terrorize its victims], and yet our politicians and history books have never, ever declared the KKK as American home-grown terrorists and smeared the entire White, male, Christian race with a terrorist paint brush—those “Christian extremists”?) Then why are we listening to politicians and religious leaders who are painting the entire Muslim religion with a terrorist brush, pushing us into fear and toward mass hatred and potential mass murder? All religions have cults—the KKK is a Christian cult; ISIS and its many derivatives are Muslim cults. A cult by definition is a group of people who try to instill their will on the non-compliant via force.
And don’t even get me started on American slavery . . .
Family of Man: this is a test, a very important test. We have failed it before . . . please, let’s not fail this test again. I know we must protect ourselves (as we should)—I’m not an idiot. But it can be done without losing our humanity. If it can’t, than screw this concept that “we are a Christian nation,” and let’s do whatever the hell we want—because, Baby, this ain’t what Jesus would do.
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
—Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)
A Protestant pastor and social activist in Nazi Germany.
Imprisoned by the Nazi regime (June 27, 1937)
(No animals were hurt in the making of this tale. In fact, I could swear that I saw a rabbit give me the finger as a mole hitched a ride on the rabbit’s back at dusk to check out my new Christmas lawn ornaments—not to mention the herd of deer (8 at last count) who calmly sashayed past my office window, chomping down on my newly revitalized plants while they dared me to come out and mess with them.)
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