The book of Job says God made
the leviathan: sea monster/Egyptian snorting,
sneezing crocodile; the next day, the behemoth:
rapacious, bones tubes of bronze, limbs bars of iron,
grass-eating for all that. He made the two for sport.
Fine. I have no problem with that. So long as they
stay out of my backyard now commandeered
by a nameless groundhog (whom I will no doubt
at some point need to christen) one who barrels
cross the lawn headlong at the house as though
he's late for some appointment.
Job is silent on the reason for the groundhog.
The divine raison d'etre. We do so love to think
we each one are for a reason.
I took him for a beaver at first meeting, but then,
absent paddle tail, thought not. He is enormous,
did I say? A roly-poly cannonball, first cousin,
twice removed of squirrel, answers to woodchuck,
My neighbor, who was there when God created
groundhogs, tells me they hate most people
– most? He says a sprinkling of old shoes, used
clothing sprinkled round will repel, also look like
hell, I'm thinking. He says Double Bubble gum
attracts them to their undoing. “Use lime to burn
their feet,” and I see green Jello, key lime, the pie,
lime rickeys poured on little woodchuck toes. Ah no,
it’s powder all the grass around with calcium carbonate.
I’ve no need to murder, or not him. But I did read we prefer
acquaintanceship to friendship. Less costly, fewer irritations.
There is a little town in Pennsylvania not twenty
miles from where I lived (for far too long) a town
far better-suited I am thinking to any thoughts
this creature might be entertaining of one day gaining
popularity, contentment, gnawing on some welcome mat.
I’ll pack a lunch for him. MapQuest woodland traffic
patterns in July. Wish him Godspeed. He was, after all,
God’s idea. I won't pretend to know what God
was thinking on the day of his creation.
Behemoths make more sense, taken altogether.
A person knows where he is with a leviathan.