Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Coo, Coo Kachoo

Chris Eldin recently had a little trouble with a raccoon, which reminded me of a raccoon story from my past. I might have blogged about this one before, but if so i can't find it in my archives so I'm gonna tell it again.

Back until a few months ago my family dwelled out in the boonies. There were deer and quail, and skunks, and porcupine, and ... well you get the idea. Critters were plentiful, including raccoons.

Generally speaking the masked marauders are nocturnal so we only saw them once the sun set, but one hot summer day I get a call from my wife while at work. She explains that her and my oldest sun were outside swimming in the hillbilly pool (a large metal stock tank that was designed to water livestock, but that we used as a swimming hole) when a large mangy looking coon walked right up to the edge of tank.

At the time my wife was five or six months pregnant with our second child and she was in hyper-protective mode. Given the ragged appearance of said raccoon and the fact he was wandering about in the hot sunny part of the day she decided it must have rabies. At the time there was a rabies outbreak in our county and every night on the news they mentioned that animals behaving weirdly could be infected.

Like I said I was at work so I listened to her concern but there wasn't a thing I could do. For the rest of the afternoon the raccoon wandered about our property and my wife kept close tabs, but when i got home the thing was no where to be found. Her mind made up that the animal had rabies and that her and my son were under house confinement as long as the thing was around she urged me to get rid of it.

Now to fella like me get rid of it means only one thing -- Shoot it dead. Remember I am a true Texan. That's just the way of the land here in the Lone Star State.

So I load up the twenty-two and begin my coon hunt. I tromp around the woods behind our house looking for the diseased critter but to no avail. My wife insists that the thing is under our house so I go to the kitchen, open a can of peaches, and set set up for an ambush.

The wait as short as out waddles this sad-looking decrepit raccoon. Half of it's fur is missing and my wife was right it does look sick. I peer through the cross hairs and when the time is right squeeze the trigger. The bullet finds its mark and I think problem solved.

But no. not fifteen minutes later my wife looks out the window and cries out, "Oh my God."

I rush to look and now wandering about my yard are four or five baby raccoons.

I shot their momma. Did I mention my wife was pregnant? When she found out she'd given the death penalty to a pregnant raccoon she became somewhat hysterical and irrational saying things like. "I told you to shoot it because it looked bad and I waddle when i walk and I look bad and what if somebody shoots me."

That was one long night as we layed in bed and listened to the babies call for their mother. The next day my nephew came over and crawled under the house and caught every last one of the babies.

Yeah i know right about now you're thinking the heartless ogre probably grilled and ate them, but no we took them to a local vet that bottle fed them and raised them as if they were his own children. Okay that's crap. I don't really know what he did with them but he did say he was going to bottle feed the babies. Who knows, maybe he fattened 'em up and fed them to his pet tiger. No he didn't really have a pet tiger.

Be sure and go read Chris's raccoon post which can be found here.

32 comments:

sybil law said...

Awww!
Somehow I think that's a sweet story. Baby raccoons!
Momma killer.
Haha!
:P

Kristen Painter said...

You're kind of twisted, you know that?

Writing Away Retreats said...

DAMN OGRE! HOW COULD YOU SHOOT THE MAMMA!!!!! I'm done hangin' with the likes of you.

Laughing until I cry. Thanks for this story.

xo

Tell Jenn, I would have done the same thing.

~Cicily

The Weaver of Grass said...

Maybe it is as well that we have to guess the real outcome of your raccoon story! Thanks for calling on me.

Being Beth said...

OH dear. Don't know whether to laugh or cry. Since I'm still laughing, guess that's what I'll choose. Great story.

Melanie Avila said...

Oh no!! My mouth dropped open when the babies appeared. I would have lost it at that point.

I'm glad they were brought to the vet, even if they did end up feeding something else. At least you didn't leave them beneath the house to die.

Hilary said...

I know what that's like.. except for the shooting. The kits' chirrupy cries are heartbreaking. My raccoon story is still evolving. Part One, and Part Two and the first follow up to come sometime soonish.

B.E. Sanderson said...

I suspect you did the poor thing a favor. She probably was sick, and you saved the babies from being infected, too. So, as horrible as you may seem, you're a good guy after all. ;o)

Melissa Marsh said...

Oh boy. I would have felt awful. Of course, I don't know if I could have pulled the trigger in the first place! I'm a wimp when it comes to that stuff.

ElanaJ said...

Too funny! Thanks for sharing. Living in the city, I don't think I've ever seen a raccoon in real life. Like ever.

spyscribbler said...

You shot a MOTHER?! Travis!

I cry when I drown ants, even when they're crawling over a glass in my sink and I have to wash them and they won't move.

Charles Gramlich said...

We had one of those ragged racoons last year and she soon came out with her 3 babies. we enjoyed seeing them immensly. We've got another one coming out in the day this year, though not so ragged. so I'm not sure she's got babies. We'll see.

Crystal Posey said...

I'm torn. To be sad or laugh. I haven't decided yet.

Annie said...

Coons be dangerous business and nothin' to be messin' with. It's too bad about the babies, but it sounds like they made out okay. Lucky for you that you don't live in TREE HUGGING country (as we do). They'd arrest you and try you for murder. Sad but true.

Ello said...

aw man that sucks for you guys. Course it sucked most for the racoon family. That's tough, but can't blame you.

Bubblewench said...

WHOA! Didn't expect the babies did y'all!?

BUT have to say, if it was me, I would have sent you out to shoot it too... paranoia and all that.

Glad you saved them though.

Lynnette Labelle said...

Loved the story. Thanks for sharing! You're a hilarious!

Lynnette Labelle
http://lynnettelabelle.blogspot.com

Rene said...

We have a pair of raccoons who fight in our neighbor's tree (she feeds them...grrrr). The other night I thought we had been invaded by a mountain lion the sound was soooo bad. They growled and hissed but pretty soon they'd come crawling out of the tree. Things are as big as dogs.

I can't blame your wife for her concerns, but her reaction was pretty funny once she realized what had happened. Pregnant women are so irrational.

Deanna said...

LOl Good story. I thought we were the only ones with a poor man's swimming pool. Our kids grew up stock tanking it, and their kids are doing the same. It really isn't a bad way to go...

Mr. Shife said...

Oh wow. That must have been a long night for you my friend. I sure hope those raccoons don't come looking for revenge on their momma.

Chris Eldin said...

Those babies better be safe! Oh, that is worse than my story. Much worse...
But you were right to do what you did. You can't take any chances.
Still, Those babies would've been pets.

McKoala said...

Tragic, but yet...kind of funny too. True that you may actually have saved those babies from becoming infected with something bad.

Cloudia said...

I go away for a week and you're shooting racoons.........back to the key board, Tex!
Aloha

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

We once had a mother raccoon stuck in an opening under our soffit. She hung upside down by her hips just outside the bathroom window. We tried pushing from the attic, pulling with a rope from the outside, but had to wait.

After three days, just like Winnie the Pooh, she budged. Once she was free, she took her babies and ran off, never to be seen again.

Miriam S.Forster said...

Hahahaha... "What if someone shoots me?" (grin)


Reminds me of the time my mom took us kids out of town,(leaving my dad home) and three raccoons got in the dog door. My dad didn't shoot them, but apparently there was a chair and some lion taming poses involved.

the walking man said...

Texas is a death penalty state. Given the same circumstance especially since there were confirmed cases of rabies in the are...it is not an unreasonable thing to do.

bookbabie said...

Gee you country boys don't fool around, do you? Read Chris's post too, hmm, maybe I should stop feeding our "pet" squirrel by hand?

ruby said...

Shooting an animal who has rabies is the only solution though isn't it? She must have been sick with something though, that's weird behavior. I would have been just as freaked out as she was!

Jessica said...

OH NO! You all must've felt bad. At least you gave the babies to the vet. ;-)
We had some babies in our garage a few months ago. They tried to bite hubby's leg off. LOL

Bina said...

that is so sad!!! Poor little babies and mamma, but I am convinced he DID bottle feed them and released them to the wild, and they knew to NEVER EVER go near your property! LOL

Sam said...

awww - poor raccoon was probably sick with rabies when she had her babies...so don't feel too bad. Coons are pretty canny and healthy, and when they look sick, they generally Are sick.

Remind me to tell you my ferret story....

:-)

Mary Witzl said...

Oh God -- how did I guess that your raccoon was pregnant? Maybe it's because our last kid was born in the summer, by which time I was half the size of a barn and looked like hell.

I'm guessing that vet really did bottle-feed the babies. Please lie and say that he really did!