Monday, April 21, 2008
Oh No You Didn't!
Close your garages, lock your front doors, and above all things put your garbage in your garbage can! He is here....he comes quietly, in the still of the night with his human like hands, beady little eyes, voracious appetite, and big time attitude. Yes...it's spring and the raccoon is back...and he's brought his crew. Now this is not just any raccoon, no, this is the raccoon that has plagued our yard for longer than we have even owned our home. Legend has it from the previous owners who, mind you, built our house, that he appeared one night and never left....we assume he hibernates for the winter, or perhaps like half the east coast he winters in Florida, who knows, but what I do know is that once he returns, it's with a vengeance. He marauds all through the spring and summer....and leaves destruction in his wake. This is how my story begins. I had just pulled the blanket up to my chin and settled myself into the perfect position to go back to sleep for the short time remaining before my alarm went off, when I heard those fateful words come out of my husband's mouth, "The raccoon is back and he isn't alone this year." Those words sent a shiver down my spine, because contained in those words was a volume of unspoken meaning. I didn't even have to ask, "How do you know?" it was just a given that when he awoke and stepped near a window he was witness to the horror of our garbage spread over the driveway. He told me the astonishment of seeing not one set of beady eyes, but three! He told me that he even went so far as to shine the flashlight at them and they just stared back. They didn't run or flinch or even bat an eyelash, they just stared back at him with a look that said "Ya right." Now for this raccoon to get into our trash, it's no easy feat, since we put our garbage into a large and well sealed garbage can. In fact, it really is a very nice garbage can....you see it was a gift, a "Thank You" gift, if you will, from the City of Stamford, for allowing them to, once again, raise our taxes beyond compare. So I was somewhat surprised to hear that he had gotten in. I even asked my dear hubby "He got into the trash can?" and the reply I received was the one I feared most, "No, I left a bag on top of the garbage can and he must have gotten into that." I groaned inwardly, poor man had been up at 5 am and was rushing out the door to work, how could I get mad at him. I let the dogs out for their morning constitutional and picked up the garbage and the shredded garbage bag. Those raccoons had dragged the trash onto the lawn and around the side of the house. They even got into a whole box of stale granola bars that I had found in the garage and thrown away. My lawn looked like the aftermath of a Wiggle's concert with empty juice boxes and granola bar wrappers everywhere, oh yes my friends they hit it hard. I can only imagine the sugar hang over that they must be experiencing right now. But, after all it is spring, and with spring come the foxes, the ducks and the raccoon. The day we closed escrow and went to check out our new home I remember the old owners arriving to answer our questions and show us the nitty-gritty workings of the house that they had built 33 years before. And as we were taking a tour of the property with "Lefty" and we came upon the trash barrels he turned to my husband and me and said, "I feel it's my duty to tell you the story of the raccoon and to warn you." Well my hubby and I looked at each other and chuckled a bit, until we realized that he was serious. And thus began the legend of the raccoon. He told us that every spring the raccoon returned and spent the spring and summer feasting on the trash. He was not interested in anyone else's trash, only ours. "Lefty" gave us tips on how to keep him out of the garbage cans and we spent the last 10 years following his rules, with great success. Until last night when one fateful decision cost us a winning streak. But, as we look back on the story we heard that day, we feel lucky indeed to have only lost one trash bag to the evil beast. You see as "Lefty" said his farewells and walked away, that day, both my darling husband and I think we might have heard him say..."Ya know, that raccoon once carried off a small boy, yes he did, the wife and I started out with 5 kids."