Thursday, October 06, 2005

Mairzy Doats and Dozy Doats

Deer Eating Ivy


Here are the ivy-eating deer that I’ve been told don’t. Eat ivy, I mean. They promised, "deer don't eat ivy. That's why you can plant it; deer will leave it alone."

Sure they will.

As you can see, there they are, bold as anything, munching on the stuff. Since deer are the moral equivalent of ivy — both are attractive, invasive, and difficult to manage — there is some kind of moral balance in these deer's diet.

Still, this picture probably wouldn’t have happened were it not for the long dry spell of late. One doe looked particularly thin considering how it's October and thus how much fat she ought to have stored for the coming winter. My son-in-law, a hunter, suggested she was probably pretty old and that's why she was thin. Seems like the drought to me, since they're not waiting for the cover of night time to come into the yard.

As I watched them nibbling on the plants from the kitchen window (where this picture was taken through the glass), it reminded me of the old Bing Crosby song my mother used to sing:
Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you
Yes, mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you

If the words sound queer and funny to your ear
Alittle bit jumbled and jivey —
Sing: mares eat oats and does eat oats
And little lambs eat ivy
...

Oh, mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you-oo
A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you
As a kid myself, I sang that song for years before I recognized it was actually English and not just nonsense syllables. I was walking to the bus stop humming it one morning and the "real" words appeared, plain and clear. Now that sudden recognition made me stop in my tracks and stand there, holding my books, amazed that I hadn't seen them before now. When I came to, I had to run to make the bus. That particular driver always thought I was a bit of a flake. He was right, too, but he seemed to tolerate it. This particular day, he honked to let me know it was move it or lose it. Back then I could really move.

In later years, when I took up running for my "health" it was never fun. Running for the bus made sense and was exhilirating. Running when you were released from the prison of school was glorious exhiliration, especially if you could kick through the mounds of leaves on the sidewalk as you flitted by. But running because it was good for me was never better than tediously virtuous. By then I was too old to flit.

Turkeys seen through the back door screenAs if The Invasion of the Starving Deer wasn't enough, today several flocks of wild turkeys headed through our yard and into the woods, traveling east at a good clip. Ever seen a turkey fly? Makes you want to turn your eyes away in embarrassment for the turkey. One of them made it over the dogwood tree — an amazing, if perverted feat.

As the battalion moved through they stopped here and there to peck at the “lawn” — that withered brown chaff covering our yard. It took a moment to figure out what they could have been eating, but perhaps it was some of the weed grasses gone to seed.

Tomorrow, the rain. The beautiful Tammy rain. Lord, if I had whined sooner, would you have sent a hurricane remnant this way before now? I'm so grateful for the sound of rain on the roof I haven't the heart to see if this one did any real damage. The Baron, who loves to track hurricanes, told me it came ashore at Jacksonville -- where I was born and grew up. When I lived there, we were always lucky: got these wimpy, windy tropical depressions that did little damage, left a whole lot of water in the yard -- I floated in an inner tube briefly, and moved on.

One time the wind drove the rain through the windows over the bookcases. Before we noticed, there was water damage on Mother's copy of Ulysses. Not that she ever actually read James Joyce. It was just that he was a fellow Dubliner and she got homesick sometimes. Besides, he was on the Index and having his evil works in the house made her feel wickedly modern. Sorry, Mother -- you couldn't quite pull that one off. Especially considering you would never open the damn book. Or rather, you opened it once and it scared the bejaysus out of you so you slammed it shut and put it back on the shelf permanently. Can't say I disagree. And I'm glad you chose James Joyce, that you never put little china leprachauns on the mantel.

I hope Tammy kept the faith...that she was wimpy and windy and moved on. And if she is responsible for the resurrection of the curly willows, the forest pansy redbud, the wild hydrangea, the raspberries I planted in the Spring, the camellias, the poor wilting virburum...what can I say but gracias plena?

The only problem is, one's gratitude for the wind and rain is somewhat marred by the thought of what I'm enjoying might have done to someone else before it got here. After Andrew, I lost my taste for hurricane weather.

On the other hand, those poor folks in the Pacific had it much worse than even Katrina. Dumped on by a typhoon with the undignified name of LongWang whilst simultaneously being wracked by an earthquake. Florida and California combined, sounds like. Or Hell One and Hell Two, since I'd never live (again)in either of them. They're both too crowded and full of places you can no longer go in safety.

Tomorrow: Long Wang, or The Genetic Theory of Digits. I'm serious.

6 Comments:

At 8:37 PM, Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

Wouldn't it be nice if the deer were eating the Japanese beetle grubs...

 
At 9:27 PM, Blogger Dymphna said...

Oh, you're a man after my own heart. Wouldn't that be just wonderful? I'd leave out signs, pointing to where I think they are (under the apple trees).

Come to think of it, why aren't they over there eating the windfalls? Dumb as deer, that's why.

 
At 8:30 PM, Blogger a4g said...

You could lose yourself in the act of running when you were 8. When the whole world would disappear, and there was only the wind and the sun and the outstretched arm of whomever was "it."

Of course, when I was a child, the ground didn't used to be nearly so hard as it has gotten lately.

 
At 8:28 PM, Blogger Bill said...

Dymphna, are you writing under the influence of your pain killers? :-))

Since deer are the moral equivalent of ivy — both are attractive, invasive, and difficult to manage ...

Ever seen a turkey fly? Makes you want to turn your eyes away in embarrasssment for the turkey. One of them made it over the dogwood tree — an amazing, if perverted feat.


I laughed at the turkey lines until I had tears in my eyes.

The Neighborhood of God and Lauditor Temporis Acti (he does with language and literaure what you do with nature) are two wonderful refuges from ugliness of the world.

 
At 9:10 AM, Blogger hank_F_M said...

Dymphna

I have a CD I got from my parents “Mairzy Doats and 44 Whacky Songs” all of which were popular when my parents were much younger than I am now. Thanks for expaining what Mairzy Doats means.

 
At 3:06 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I used to sing that Crosby song, too, but I never figured it out. I saw the lyrics on paper, and that caused a permanent block.

Ever seen a turkey fly? Makes you want to turn your eyes away in embarrassment for the turkey. One of them made it over the dogwood tree — an amazing, if perverted feat.
I hadn't thought about turkeys in flight for years! LOL, when I remembered, thanks to your picture and description. Aren't you glad that the bald eagle was chosen instead's of Franklin's proposal?

 

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