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Nature girl

So the backyard has been completely given over to the groundhogs, who are running around like they own the place.

The world is too much with me.

In fact, it’s in my entrance hall.

By way of background, when I first got this house, it had no entrance hall. The front door opened into the living room, blowing in cold air, dirt, and leaves.

Not to mention whatever the dogs brought in, usually mud.

Or whatever the cats brought in, usually mice with mortal injuries.

There’s nothing worse than a mortally injured mouse.

Every one is an ethical issue.

I couldn’t bring myself to kill them, but neither could I ignore them. And up close, they were cute little field mice. I felt terrible seeing them suffer, but I remember one time I called a rescue place to bring one in and they thought I was kidding.

Anyway I finally put in an entrance hall, which I thought looked pretty great. There are windows in front and the floor is flagstone, and it does a good job of keeping out cold air.

But big wolf spiders show up in fall and somehow they get in under the outside door. They wait for me in the entrance hall, and when I open the front door, they rush me.

There are offensive lines that are less intimidating.

These spiders have more formations than the Eagles.

I don’t kill them but I don’t want them inside, so I have to try to catch them with glasses really quick and throw them outside.

One or two always get past me.

Where they do a touchdown dance.

But I know spiders are a good thing, and they just want to get warm, so I’m on board.

Now there’s a new thing in the entrance hall.


Sorry if you’re eating breakfast.

All of a sudden, almost every morning, I open the front door and there are worms flopping on the flagstone, all over the entrance hall.

It’s worse after it rains.

And it rains a lot lately.

I have no idea how they get in under the outside door.

They’re geniuses.

Or why they want to get inside.

Maybe they’re not geniuses.

And they’re not little worms, they’re big, fat worms. They’re tan and they have a weird band in the middle like a belt.

At least somebody in the house can wear one.

And I swear to God, they’re big enough that at some point they’re like snakes.

The difference between a worm and a snake is whether you shudder.

I shudder.

I can’t leave them in the entrance hall because they’re in various stages of drying up and they’re going to die. The other day there were eight of them, so I closed my eyes, picked them up with paper towels, and put them outside in the grass.

But the next day there were nine, and yesterday I counted 10.

Ten big worms in the entrance hall!

And not only that, but there were six spiders, running in formation, scrambling over the worms, coming right at me.

It’s an obstacle course for vermin.

Now I’m wondering if I need to put in a second entrance hall.

One for them, one for me.

And the other thing that’s happening is the groundhogs in the backyard are multiplying.

I don’t know when this started, or why.

It’s true that my dogs have gotten older and lazier, so they never want to go in the backyard anymore.

Neither do I.

We sit on the couch and watch Netflix.

So the backyard has been completely given over to the groundhogs, who are running around like they own the place.

I might sell it to them, if they’re OK with the worms and spiders.

And the groundhogs are getting bolder, coming up to the back patio, and they’re kinda cute.

But it’s only a matter of time until they figure out how to get inside.

When I take the trash out back, I yell, “Watch out, creatures!” so they all run away to their holes.

But this morning, they didn’t even run away.

They just watched me, like, “Oh, she finally got off the couch. And if she opens that door a little wider. …”

Soon I’ll be living with groundhogs, worms, and spiders.

The only one I’d really mind is the worms.

Maybe it’s from climate change.

It’s not global warming, it’s global worming.

Look for Lisa’s best-selling historical novel, “Eternal,” in stores now. Also look for Francesca’s critically acclaimed debut novel, “Ghosts of Harvard,” now in paperback.