May 21, 2017

An incursion in the Ardennes

The wife and I were heading out last evening to meet some friends for dinner. We were running late because one of us couldn't get ready on time. You guess. Here is a hint: it was not the one named Joe.

As I was about to get into the SUV something dark and furry scurried into he garage and hid under the granddaughter's tricycle. It was a juvenile raccoon. I yelled "Get him, Jim", but alas, I am not Marlon Perkins and this wasn't Wild Kingdom. I would have to do my own critter wrangling.

We were going to be really late.

I used the trike to block his efforts to move deeper into the garage. I managed to block him with a combination of footwork and oaths until I got a hold of a broom. I then did my best-ever hockey goalie impersonation. Until the little hissing growling bastard ran under the car.

I asked  the wife if he came out the other side. She answered from the bottom of the driveway. Thanks for your help, Honey. But she did exhort me to close the car door on her side so that he "wouldn't climb inside" . If you cannot tell, my wife  has never been around animals. I told her to tell me of she sees the momma heading towards my back. She did not answer, but retreated into the street.

I spotted the 'coon over by some shelving looking to hide behind the boxes. I beat him to the spot. That animal was starting to really hate my broom. I pushed him back. He arched and hissed and growled. He wanted deeper into the garage. I wanted him out. Stubborn met determination. I don't know which trait was most representative of me, but I know I shoved the little bandit into a five gallon bucket. I win!

I covered the bucket with the broom. What does one do with a bucket of raccoon? I thought about dumping him under the neighbor's shed, but that wouldn't be too neighborly. If the jerk who used to live there still occupied the place I would not have hesitated, but now? Nah...But if I let him out near the shed, it is not my problem if he runs under there, is it?

The yard was wet and soggy and muddy from the almost two inches of rain we got earlier in the afternoon. Did I mention we were already running late? I dumped my bucket of raccoon in the side yard and gave the critter a push in the general direction of the big hole beneath the neighbor's shed. Little Rocky Raccoon gave a final deep growl, snapped at the broom one more time and headed in the opposite direction, towards my backyard. Seriously? He climbed halfway up the fence post closest to the house and hung there, staring at  me with malevolent eyes. I tried pushing him down with the broom, but the little growling fiend wedged himself into the boards and hung on tight.

I grabbed the bottle of rodent spray we put on the flowers to discourage the rabbits and coated the top of the fence above him. I was late to dinner and he was out of my garage.

I called a truce. I suspect this was just the opening battle. I imagine the next front will be in the backyard. I hope he does not form a coalition with the rabbits and chipmunks. 


Anonymous said...

Heh, wait until you have a gator sitting in your driveway.

James Old Guy

Joe said...

No thanks

Mammals I can handle. Reptiles not so much

Dan O. said...

My experience with raccoons is to trap them in a box trap and transport far enough away as to be someone else's problem.

A couple of times i received a call from my dad asking me to come over in my trunk. He's caught a skunk that needed transport. Luckily we never got sprayed.

And with both skunks and raccoons, after being in a trap and given a ride, they want nothing more to do with you and rightly skedaddle when you open the cage.

hey teacher... said...

Went outside this morning to see if the Weather Channel had the temperature right. I saw a skunk meandering through our front yard. I picked up a rock from a safe distance and tossed it at said skunk to get its attention. When It was looking at me I started clapping loudly and started walking towards it. It started moving away and ran up the road and went under the neighbors very large fir tree. I do not want one living under our shed like last summer. The stench was pretty bad even though we never actually got sprayed. Nothing like waking up the neighbors @ 6:15. The neighbor with the tree is two doors down and his dog attacked my wife several years ago. I may or may not mention he has a skunk under his tree to him.

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