Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Heart of a Savage


For almost two years now, I've had something living in my attic that I cannot catch, poison, or even see. I have long thought that this varmint was a squirrel. The only problem with that theory was that the critter liked to move his attic furniture in the middle of the night, and squirrels don't usually do that.

Last night, I believe that I finally came face to face with my nemesis. It was no squirrel, oh no, not a squirrel at all. Squirrels are cute, sort of, and they make a good spaghetti. This thing is useful for nothing.

You have to understand the build up to this encounter. I have tried everything to get rid of this pest who keeps me up at night. We've tried traps, rat poison, boarding up the awning on the house, and we've even called the pest control to no avail. It's been like a bad Disney movie where the guy keeps being outwitted by some dumb animal.

So last night I open the back door to bring my dog's food into the house, and much to my fright, the nefarious creature is less than 6 inches from my foot eating my dog's food. It was an opossum, possibly the ugliest creature that God ever made. And, I kid you not, the thing hissed at me. It hissed! I just about died of a heart attack.

Fortunately, my girlie squeal was interpreted by the creature as a sign of hostility, so it retreated under my grill and stared at me. My first thought was to run into the house and grab my shotgun, but I figured that the gun going off at 11:00pm in my neighborhood might scare a few folks. Plus, the clever animal had curled himself around the gas tank of the grill, and I figured if the shotgun didn't wake the neighbors, then the exploding tank rattling the windows would surely do the trick.

So I did the only thing that I knew to do. I went and got my garden hoe. I didn't know exactly what I'd do with it, but I decided that if the beast went on the attack that this would be my best option. So there I was, hoe in hand, staring down my nemesis. I was only momentarily distracted by noticing that my wife was watching through the window. I didn't know what to do, but I knew I needed to act manly.

I stared at this opossum for a good three minutes, and for a moment, I pitied him. Yes, he had woken me up almost every night for a year and a half, and he had pilfered food from my beloved dog's bowl for who knows how long, and he had generally embarrassed me in front of my wife countless times already. ("Honey, what's that noise?" Me, "What noise?" Her, "That one, in the attic!" Me, "It's that creature waking us up again at 2am." Her, "Are you going to get rid of it or what!") He looked so helpless laying under that grill staring at me with those beady black eyes. So I did the only thing a man could do in that situation. I smashed him in the face with the hoe as hard as I could.

I couldn't really get a good swing at him, and that's what really irks me. It was really more of a jab than a swing, and I think the blow was partially absorbed by the gas tank instead of fully on his skull like I had planned. Regardless, he streaked out from under the grill and headed for my shop, which I can only surmise is the point of entry to the house. (The two are connected.)

But I wasn't going to give up that easily. I went on a savage rampage, swinging and striking at the scurrying, hissing beast like a maniac. I hit a tricycle, a Red Flyer Wagon, a box of sidewalk chalk, and one folding metal chair. I managed to graze him once more before he vanished behind the building, but I suspect I did little damage to him.

Though I managed to drive the enemy from the field, I do not know if I would call this encounter a total victory. I know that somewhere nearby, and sullen opossum is licking his wounds and planning his revenge. But last night, he didn't scurry in the attic for the first time in a year, and if he comes back, I'll have my hoe handy.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Call the local animal control. They will bring you a "trap"...put fried chicken in it. This is sure to work.

I will tell you about our opposum stories sometimes.

Gwen

Rebekah said...

My in-laws have a marsh rat coming and going, and does it ever stink up the house when it is in residence. Roving stink, never in the same part of the house. They're having a time trying to get rid of it.

Hope your possum is scared silly and finding a new stomping ground!

Sista Cala said...

A friend of mine had a similar problem w/a skunk. For bait, she used a trail of dog food (the same kind it had been eating for months) and the trail ended inside a live trap. Catching was no problem. Neither was blowing it to pieces with her shotgun. Good thing she lived in the country or she could have met w/some animal activists and had some different varmits on her hands.

Nina said...

Animal control has been placing traps outside our house for about a week now, and we've caught at least three possums. Cute little critters. Armadillos are MUCH uglier!

wana be said...

I come here for a pastorial or theological fix and I get possum killing. Could this blog be any more complete.

Even So... said...

Forget all the traps and stuff for sissies...I wanna hear you regale us with more tales of man vs. beast...mano e opossumo...pastor vs. predator...

Lisa writes... said...

All I can say is yuck. And that possums are tied with armadillos with the ugliest creature award.

MColvin said...

2 questions:

1. How do you know squirrels make good spaghetti?

2. How do you know opossum's don't?

Good stuff buddy....

Norma said...

Wish I could write like that. Nothing interesting ever happens to me! Someday you'll work this into a sermon about putting on the whole armor, etc.

Julie said...

Maybe you scared it to death with your hoe swinging and jabbing! ; )

BugBlaster said...

That's pretty scary. I had to chase a coon out of my grandma's attic once. She about to give birth at the time, and was pretty snarly. I also used a hoe. Wasn't nearly as manly about it as you though.

BugBlaster said...

the coon I mean. the coon was about to give birth. the coon was pretty snarly.

Brad Williams said...

Buggy, that's funnier than my post.