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Posts Tagged ‘woods’

A little over a week ago I awoke in the middle of the night to a horrific hissing/screeching sound coming from the wooded area that runs along the back of our property. It was so loud that even the “white noise” that I use to drown out various sounds Ron makes during the night didn’t camouflage the horrible noises coming from the scary darkness amidst the trees. It was like nothing I had ever heard before and I immediately froze, flat on my back, listening as some sort of animal kingdom-style battle ensued right outside of our bedroom window.

After a while, the scary sounds stopped and since I felt much more at ease, it didn’t take long for me to drift back to sleep. But then, just like before, the noises started again sending me bolt upright, too afraid to peek out the window. Using my incredibly keen senses, I deciphered the commotion as a possible scuffle between an extremely angry raccoon and some other haunted, unintelligible creature. Ron stirred next to me and I heard Stella get up from her bed. I knew they’d heard it too. And it went on. And on. And on… Then it finally stopped and I slowly lay back down, rolled over, and stared at my dresser until I finally fell asleep, shaken but relieved that the bewailing was over.

The next morning I went downstairs and immediately began peering out windows scanning the lawn for “dead things.” Sure enough…between our yard and our neighbor’s lay a very small animal that, upon closer inspection, was found to be a baby raccoon.

So, I was right about the raccoon sounds. I recognized the horrible growling and screeching from an experience my friend, Pam, and I had at my aunt and uncle’s house years ago.  Pam and I stopped to visit them one afternoon and were chatting away mirthfully in their kitchen when we saw an absolutely darling animal peek at us from behind a dining room cabinet.

“Awwww… how cute!” Pam said clasping her hands together gleefully as we both smiled at the furry animal looking at use from masked eyes.

“Ohhhh….he’s so adorable!” I said. “What’s his name?” I asked my Aunt Marnie.

“That’s Chester,” Aunt Marnie replied. “Your Uncle Al found him orphaned in a culvert so he took him home. We’ve had him for years.”

“Oooh…he looks so sweet,” Pam said as I nodded my head in agreement. I cooed at the little fellow and coaxed him to come closer.  “Come here, Chester. C’mon, little guy…”

“Little guy” must have been the code words Chester had been given by my aunt and uncle to “attack and kill” because the moment I uttered them the creature barreled into the kitchen hissing and growling and promptly began gnawing on Pam’s leg.  My Girl Scout skills kicked into full gear and I stood as motionless as a concrete statue in an attempt to avoid being Chester’s next afternoon snack.

Pam leapt from the chair on top of the kitchen table and that left Chester no choice but to begin gobbling on my anemic-looking legs. When I was finally able to yank my ankle free from his grasp, I sprang atop the table, joining Pam who had already knocked over a bowl of artificial fruit and a flattened a sandwich in an attempt to retain both of her lower limbs.

Thank goodness, my aunt had a miniature plastic ruler so she could tap Chester gently on the back while murmuring quietly, “Chester. No. Down, Chester…” God knows, my uncle wasn’t interested in helping. He chose to stand there with his arms crossed, laughing while the raccoon attempted to nibble on our legs like pale white cobs of corn.

So, anyway…I know what an angry raccoon sounds like and clearly, the night I heard all of those awful sounds in our woods there was a battle between one and another animal. But with what? Or (gulp) who? That morning after the scuffle in the woods, when Stella awoke I pointed out the furry animal between our yards.

“Sad,” Stella said. “But it was weird. Last night Annie (our dog) was running from window to window, watching something in the yard. She obviously saw something!”

Later, I talked to a few neighbors about it. We’ve had things around here like foxes, bears, and snapping turtles but nothing like this. And one person had heard the same battle we heard. “I think it was a coyote,” she told me. Another neighbor confirmed seeing one cross the county road around that time and I have personally heard them howling back and forth in the distance late at night.

Annie isn’t allowed to go into our back yard to use the doggy restroom at night anymore. We now let her out the front door where things are a bit more civilized in an attempt to keep her away from the creepy animals that lurk amongst the trees that line our yard.

If only I could train her to use a litter box…

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