Today at lunch Marlene told me about a conversation she had with her friend who lives not too far from us. Her friend related that a neighbor woman had been chased by a rabid raccoon in her yard. The neighbor called someone to come shoot the animal, but they couldn’t find it.
Then, a little while later, the critter showed up at Marlene’s friend’s house. The friend’s teenage son ran outside and shot the raccoon in his underwear.
That’s quite a story. I couldn’t help but ask the obvious.... How did the raccoon end up wearing the boy’s underwear?
Seriously, though, I like that story because the boy responded and did exactly what God designed men (young and old) to do, which is to protect their families against dangers. And instead of taking the time to get dressed, this kid runs outside in his underwear to get the job done! Yeah. I like that a lot.
Of course, you can do stuff like that when you live out in the country. Running outside in your underwear and shooting dangerous animals is really not out of the ordinary.
Now, if you lived in the suburbs, that’s a different story. You can’t shoot things in your yard in suburbia. The neighbors will call the police. And if you’re out there in your skivvies, it just compounds the problem.
This story is actually somewhat coincidental because this afternoon, I walked out of my work shop, toward my house and, on the way, I passed a raccoon. He was about 20 feet off to my left side. I almost didn’t even notice him. He was quietly ambling along, with his rear end hiked up in the air, like raccoons do, and not paying any attention to me.
Well, when I see a raccoon walking through my yard in daylight, I shoot it. More likely, one of my kids will shoot it. First, they would probably argue about which one of them was going to shoot the raccoon. But I happened to be home alone today when this incident happened. Oh, and I should make it clear, I was fully clothed.
Once I was in the house, I hastily went to the gun cabinet and chose my son Robert’s single shot, break-action, 20-gauge shotgun—the one I bought him for Christmas a couple years ago—the one he uses to hunt rabbits and squirrels. I had a choice of bird shot or deer slugs. I grabbed two slugs, put one in the chamber and hurried outside. I left our dog, Annie, in the house. The last thing I needed was my dog to tussle with a rabid coon.
When I got outside, the raccoon was nowhere in sight. I wandered around and finally spotted it on the other side of my shop. I closed in as it walked past my compost pile. I walked closer. The coon acted like he didn’t see me. I was off to its side and a little behind as he made his way along one side of my chicken tractor. Then he stopped, and so did I. We were maybe 10 feet apart.
The raccoon slowly turned his head around and looked at me with his beady black eyes. The way he turned his head and looked at me reminded me of a scene I once saw in Jurassic Park, where the big dinosaur realizes there is a human nearby, and turns his head slowly to look at the person, just before pouncing.
Well, I didn’t wait to see what the coon was going to do next. I blasted that thing and killed it dead, right there next to the chicken tractor. That’s what I did.
Deer slugs work real well on raccoons (I only used one, by the way).
For those readers who live in a foreign country where there are no raccoons, or if you’re a city person who has maybe never seen a dead raccoon, here’s a picture of the little beast:
So then I had to dispose of the dead, rabid coon. I can’t leave it outside where Annie would get it. She would chew on it and drag it off to someplace and bury it. Then dig it up a few months later and drag it onto the lawn, by the door to our house (where everyone who visits us would see it) and commence to eat it.
Fortunately, I have a special place. It’s the place where we toss all our dead raccoons. And all the long-dead and half-rotted carcasses Annie hauls in from who-knows-where. It’s an Annie-proof place. Here it is:
That is what’s left of a big, hollow basswood tree that blew down in a storm a few years ago. It is located across from our house in the neighbor’s hedgerow. All the dead animals go in that stump. That’s a real handy stump there.
2x4 grape arbor - [image: grape trellis 2x4] We built a 2x4 grape arbor today to help elevate our vines to avoid any blight.
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