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.