Ages ago, early in the summer, I was sitting out on the patio, just looking at the garden and breathing. Suddenly, I saw a rat darting out of the stone wall and racing over the to the rock border of the garden, to chase away squirrels and birds who were eating the seed I had left there.
The first time this happened, years ago, I used rat traps and caught 10 or 12 rats in an hour. Next time, several years later, I used a more spiritual approach, and asked Hawk (or perhaps I could say the Spirit of Hawks), to take care of the rat. I saw a small Cooper’s hawk a few days later, and thought – ‘you are way to small – the rat is bigger than you’. He cocked his head, looking at my sideways, making it clear he thought he could handle the situation. And indeed he did.
Both times, of course, I had first spent several days mentally / spiritually sending messages to the Rat that if he wanted to live, he needed to move to somewhere else to eat. I told him I did not want to kill him, but was prepared to do so if he did not move on.
This time, I told the Rat as usual, and then did not call Hawk in. Instead I cleared brush from the rat’s hole and moved the area where I put food out farther away, hoping he would get the message. He did not. So in August, I again sent a message out to Hawk.
Hawk showed up pretty quickly – I saw him sitting on the bench by the garden a few days later, and haven’t seen the rat again since. But I did look out the window on a Sunday morning a few days later, and there was Hawk sitting in a tree, munching on a robin. Which was not in my plan.
Now he’s clearing using the yard, a fair amount of the time, as his cafeteria. Not making me happy. He is quite large, about 18″ tall, with a fairly light back and quite light front. He has quite the wing span, and broad horizontal stripes on his (or her) tail. I know because something must have fought back, possibly a group of jays, and I found 2 large tail feathers on the patio bricks.
He also took a fairly large squirrel out of a tree one day while I was on the driveway, but ended up leaving the dead squirrel for me to shovel into the woods. He flies well in the woods and I really enjoy seeing him. But seeing a flurry of feathers around the yard and garden every few days, mostly blue jay, sometimes cardinal, is jolting.
He is beautiful, powerful, Great Spirit’s Messenger. I’d be happier if he would spread his message around further.