So, I think I've been down this road before, but I just have to share what happened at our house this week. In the past, I've shared about an encounter with a mysterious creature that has invaded our yard during the night. While we never got an actual "sighting" of the creature, the damage sustained by the fence, bird feeder, and plastic storage tub were extensive and real.
We've thrown around a bunch of wild ideas about who, or better yet, WHAT was invading our yard in the wee hours of the morning, but there has been no definitive proof that it's anything other than a mischievous rodent. In other words, we don't have a doggone clue!!! This week...there was an actual sighting...YUP! That's right...I finally saw the THING!!!
I had noticed that "something" had been gnawing on the edges of the lids of the food containers we keep on the patio. We keep bird food, squirrel food, and pet food in plastic tubs on the patio. I figured some of our more courageous squirrels (of which we have many) had gotten bold enough to actually venture onto the patio and attempt to hit the jackpot on food theft.
I admit that I had basically ignored the fact that every morning, when Dixie, our Boxer/Sheppard mix goes out to do her "business", spends an extended period of time sniffing and prowling around the patio and yard by our back door. She always seems sort of anxious when this happens...she looks at me like "Daddy, DO SOMETHING!!!!"....but I really just thought it was because she'd been locked up inside all night long. I WAS WRONG!!! There was a very good reason for her distress and irritation...and a couple of nights ago, I found out her little secret.
Around 3:30 a.m. (Uh huh...in the blessed A.M.!!!), she wakes me up whimpering and walking in circles by my bed. When I sat up and cut the light on, she runs to the back door and begins to whimper louder. In my early morning confusion and stupor, I thought..."GET UP AND LET HER OUT BEFORE YOU HAVE TO CLEAN UP A MESS!!!!!"...Well, that isn't the exact words that passed through my mind, but you get the idea. I jump out of bed, run to the door and....BUMP!!!
"What was that?"...I quickly cut on the lights and look out the door in time to see the food tub containing a large amount of cat food being drug across the yard by a VERY large and quite guilty looking raccoon! He had already gotten it a good 15 feet away from the patio..."GOTCHA"!!! is all I can think of! I fumble to get the deadbolt lock undone and throw the door open so Dixie can defend her home and....the raccoon is gone! Just that quick, POOF!!!...It just disappeared. Poor Dixie...her heart broken...runs and runs back and forth around the yard. She sniffed every square inch of the fence, around the patio...I think she even personally inspected EVERY blade of grass the little varmint touched, but it just didn't matter. IT HAD ESCAPED!
(Insert creative writing segment here)
Dejected and defeated, we retreated back into the house, where we are then forced to share the embarrassment of our defeat to the wife and cats. Bested by a nocturnal thief (...quite skilled, by the way) that is way too quick for us, we return to bed, but sleep alludes us. I'm now "wired" by the adrenaline rush of the late night chase and find it difficult to sleep again...and then, in the moonlight filtering through the blinds, I see my Dixie...laying on the foot of the bed, totally on guard and alert, staring towards the door that separates her from her nemesis.
Ok...enough of my "creative prose". The raccoon got away....again...and then again! He's made multiple attempts to get to the grub, but so far, he's only been successful in knocking some tubs over and leaving enough of a trail that Dixie goes slightly "goofy" every time she picks up the hint of a fresh visit.
As for me, I think it's really very funny! I was fairly sure that it wasn't a black bear like last year. Not that it isn't possible, just not likely. No matter...we're going to keep feeding the animals and I'm sure that they'll keep trying to get to the jackpot. My only wish is for them to do it a more decent hour! Before midnight or better yet, after 6:00 a.m.
Anyway, that's my tale of creatures in the night. If you weren't too bored or offended, leave me a note and tell me what you thought. Dixie is really interested in what you have to say. And since every good story should have a moral...The moral of this story is...It's not nice to make old farts like me chase critters in the middle of the night...but everyone DID live happily ever after!
Till next time...
PEACE & LOVE
No creatures, real or imagined were harmed in the telling of the actual events or retelling of the story of those actual events...as far as you know!
Husband, father, sinner saved by the Grace of God, old teacher, wood-worker, bad golfer, USM Golden Eagle (forever) and MSU Bulldog lover (It's a daughter thing)