Its always exciting living here in wild Dade City. The following is a true story that happened to me last year when I owned chickens as pets. They were loved and cared for and all eight had names.
I had just finished up my conference call with my team and Military Man was just starting a conference training call. I went upstairs to get changed for bed and grabbed my book to sit by the fire. As I was coming down the stairs I heard a baby crying. I knew it wasn't my kids, and so I thought Military Man was watching TV and had the volume up too loud. (He does have some hearing loss due to Iraq) As I rounded the corner the crying grew louder and I was about to tell Military Man to turn off the TV. But he was quietly listening to his training call. I turned around and went to the back door. The sound grew louder. Fear rose in my chest. I opened the door and the sound of a very sick dying animal gave way to the cold dark night. I yelled, "Honey, the chickens, something is wrong with the chickens." I ran to the laundry room across the other side of the house to turn on the backyard flood lights. Military Man ran outside to the screened in patio . I flipped the light on and as I ran outside I see raccoons running up the inside of the chicken coop and the hens were a fluttering. I ran back inside thinking "what exactly am I looking for". I grabbed the broom and the big big flashlight. I can hear my hens squawking. Its the most awful sound and its making me more and more flustered. I race outside and hand Military Man the broom. I press the button on the flashlight, NOTHING. Dead batteries. what? I tell MM, "the coon can't get out. Open the door and let him out".
Military Man has come back outside, (when did he go inside??) with some sort of gun. He say to me, hold your ears this thing is loud. I look and he is holding his 9mm. Military men and their guns. The 9mm is one of several in the gun safe. So I run back inside for a flashlight. (I think you have to see it to shoot it right?) (Lets now remember who is in the military and who is a marksman) I can only think of one flashlight . I ran in Diesel Boy's room and grab the Tonka truck flashlight. Its been played with so the batteries are not fully charged but its brighter than the dead one I have in my hands. Diesel Boy stirs, and I reassure him, "go back to sleep, mom is just borrowing your flashlight". What I don't remember is that you have to keep the button depressed or the light goes off. (its a kids flashlight) so I hand it off to Military Man who in my absence has managed to scare the poor animal up the palm tree and he says loud and proud, " I hit him in the Ass"!!!. "With what"? I shriek. (I shriek so well when under stress) The large stick he is carrying around like a caveman, is my answer. (I used a stick to prop open the door so the chickens can come and go as they like during the day) I am such a city girl, never owned anything other than a cat and dog. In my stress induced state, I went real stupid and said, " honey to make this flashlight work you have to keep the button pressed down".
Do you want to guess what Military Man's response was?
Just a look, a slow turning of the head, looking at me. The verbal words are not there, but he is clearly thinking, “you, my beautiful intelligent wife, did NOT just instruct me on how to use a flashlight?”
The hens are running around, but they only seem to be frightened and not hurt. The call I had heard earlier was a warning call. (Didn't I tell you I speak chicken?)
Military Man has now returned from the house again (how do I keep missing him going and coming??) and is now carrying not just one, but two guns. One for each hand, like he is Jesse James.
He is mad!
He is annoyed! The raccoon has interrupted his conference call. (Or is it the chickens squawking and me shrieking?) One gun is a pellet gun that you pump up and he attempts to shoot at the animal to scare it out of the tree. The other gun is loaded with real bullets. He lays down the 9mm and tells me, "don't touch that its loaded." DUH!!! (I am a city girl, never had a gun, can't shoot a gun, but married a Marksman) Military Man is circling the coop like the hunter now, with a gun clutched in his hand.
I really don’t want to kill this poor defenseless animal, he is Gods creature after all right? He just wants to get away from us like we want him to get away from my chickens. Now in the course of our running back into the house for flashlights, brooms, guns and shoes, the raccoon has taken advantage of the two idiots and run off into the woods to escape the crazy people who keep shouting instructions on how to make a flashlight work. Military Man enters the coop with gun in hand to check the covered laying area to make sure there are no coons hiding inside. All clear. palm tree is free of coon. He apparently fell through the bird netting that I have laced over the top to keep out the hawk that ate my chickens two years ago.
Honestly, I didn't know that raccoons would eat the chickens. I knew fox and coyote would, but not cute little masked bandits. The size of the raccoon in the coop was huge, at least 15 to 20 pounds. He was apparently raised on chicken. They are not so cute at this size, but very menacing and this was not the last I saw of him either. I really thought we scared him so bad that I wouldn't see a raccoon again in a very long time... guess what? I was so wrong.
Ok, this is Girl Schmuck signing off.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for a very good laugh! This is absolutely hilarious - I had pictures of everything as I read - you are a good writer!!!
    The part that seemed totally incongruous to me were the words "palm tree". HA In my world that would have said "PINE tree"... up here in southwest Virginia! Quite a story.