Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Woodchucks in The Garden


When I was in college, I lived at a bed & breakfast in Coventry which was beset by a plague of woodchucks. These furry, little marmots would devour an entire garden of zucchini, peas and tomatoes overnight. They would also put dozens of marmot holes all over the horse paddock, just large enough for horse to step into and break it's leg. It was a big problem.

The owners of the farm were concerned about the horses and angry at varmints eating their dinner, so they did something about it. They put out traps and more importantly they encouraged me to shoot the little bastards on sight, a job I pursued with great alacrity. Some would even say with far too much alacrity. After trapping and/or shooting a few dozen woodchucks, I began to notice a few things; fewer woodchucks, no new holes in the paddock and fresh vegetables from the garden.

In the Boston Review of Books Glenn C. Loury wonders why we have so many people in prison and so many new prisons even though crime has dropped precipitously since 1992. I'm no expert, certainly no Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences at Brown University or a 2002 Carnegie Scholar, but I think that if you kill or imprison enough malefactors, you have a decent chance of riding a horse with four sound legs and eating a salad with fresh vegetables.

1 comment:

ScottJ said...

Gunga-galunga, my friend.

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