We discovered the main nest. The breeding grounds for the hideous creatures that have been plaguing our backyard is actually along the neighbor's fence. Hidden amongst the labyrinthine root structure of the most hardy, invasive plant I have ever dealt with, Argentinian Ivy (that shit has feet and can take down buildings), Satan's offspring had constructed a virtual multiplex with chambers tucked under every available limb. The ivy had grown so thick in one particular area that it was actually pulling the fence down. I don't even want to think about the exponential population growth possibilities within that three square feet of earth.
What a pain in the ass. It's not even our yard! But it has certainly been our problem. So this past weekend we were determined to eradicate that mass of evil by taking down the ivy. We invited our friend Douglas and his six year old son, Niko, to help with the extermination, a couple of dudes who we knew wouldn't be grossed out by the endeavor.
We armed the children with sharpened bamboo spears,
while the adults packed hand saws, hatchets, pruners, and shovels. There would be blood. It was inevitable. Those little fuckers had to go.
The Disgruntled Farmhand stood on a ladder at ground zero, saw and hatchet in hand, to hack away at the massive knot of ivy. Douglas and I waited in the wings to clobber any rats escaping from inside the fence. The kids dangled their spears over the fence, desperately hoping to be able to thrust them at something.
They ended up providing an eerie operatic soundtrack to the whole event, wailing chorus after chorus of "Kill the rats! Kill the rats!" It was a tad bit disturbing.
Eventually we reached the heart of the nest. Rat after rat flew out from the fence, one launching itself off the 10 foot concrete retaining wall and bouncing off the ground as it landed, another scampering across the DF's hand. Under all of the branches of ivy we found a nightmarish number of neon pink rat babies. I will not describe their demise. Let's just say it was garish enough for me to close my eyes and squeal while the deed was being done.
The day after all out war had been waged, more apples had been nibbled off the tree. There are more out there. Hiding. Somewhere. *sigh*
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