Friday, March 18, 2016

That Doesn't Look Like A Squirrel

The other morning, my alarm clock barked.
I had to be out of bed at six but I'd already hit the snooze button once; when it's dark in the morning, I takes me about 30 minutes to get up and moving. Not that I'm lazy but honestly, a big part of my morning ritual is lying in bed, waking up, and letting thoughts pop into my brain. Sometimes, that's how my next writing project gets figured out.
My point being that when the dog barked from her couch in the living room, I sat up and said, "Raccoon."
For I knew it was her raccoon bark (which is not the same as her skunk bark, let me tell you!).
The cats scattered off the bed in with a thumping of paws and I put on slippers and glasses to go and see who was on the deck, in the bird feeder, eating bird seed.
You'd think we'd done this before.
Yes, our first sign of spring is a raccoon's pre-dawn visit.
My husband decided this is a female full of babies so we've named her Darlene.
That seemed to go with our squirrels, Oswald and Dorothy.
Despite the hackles up on the dog's back, and the cats' backs just up -- crouched safely back from the sliding door -- we let Darlene have a proper feed. Because she's pregnant.
"Before I met you, I would have shot the damn raccoon," my husband muttered after I caught him talking to Darlene through the glass.
County Boy has been Disney-fied.
Once the sun broke over the treeline on the other side of the river, Darlene crawled down from the feeder -- evoking a cacophony of nails on the hardwood floor as three indoor animals scrambled to the living room window to see where she was going. I watched as Darlene rambled across the lawn, through the ditch, and then across the road. Shortly after, three cars passed by.
"Oh, for gawd's sake," I said. "Now that we've named her, she's going to get hit by a car."
I wonder if my husband has been Disney-fied enough to put a "Raccoon Crossing" sign along the road?

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