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February 7, 2014

 In addition to invited guests, 
 we've been getting some unwanted 
 visitors. A stray hunting dog savagely 
 killed two geese and many chickens 
 a month ago. Rats are getting in the 
 henhouse and eating eggs. Feral pigs 
 uproot plantings and dig big hazardous 
 holes. Mongooses come and decapitate 
 chickens, leaving the bodies behind to be 
 pecked to pieces by their cannibal brethren. 
 Death is the life of a farm. We tried trapping 
 before with no luck but Sarah made it happen today 
 with a Havahart trap, but maybe it should be "half a heart" 
 because although they're caught unharmed what do you think 
 happens next? Conventional wisdom says drown them by submerging the 
 cage in a creek or trashcan of water. That didn't sound entirely humane to me, 
 but we gave it a try a la Goldilocks--we hauled out various vessels until we found 
 one we thought was just right. It wasn't. It was just a centimeter too shallow and 
 we discovered mongoose are very good swimmers. Drowning seemed a bad idea 
 anyway because the mammalian diving reflex would likely prolong the agony, 
 so we went with my first idea: carbon monoxide. We slid the cage into a plastic 
 bag and fastened it to Jeep's tailpipe. It inflated surprisingly fast and we poked 
 a vent hole at opposite end so it wouldn't pop. It did the trick quickly and quietly. 
 We hated to do it but these ornery varmints are nothing but trouble. Rest in peace.