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Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013
Coon hunterPosted Wednesday, February 9, 2011, at 3:13 PM
It is not unusual to see opossums, racoons, skunks and deer outside of our rural house though most of those visitors wouldn't come around, my husband tells me, if I didn't have outside cats that I fed.
We have joked around among us about the animals sneaking in the house and how freaky it would be.
The other night I got home early and went to our basement to talk to our daughter before it was time to start supper. I went back upstairs a while later and standing in the kitchen was a ginormous - like at least 100 pounds - racoon. I screamed and it ran into another room.
I yelled down to Meghan, thinking she would be able to help me show the varmint the way out. She ran up the steps and immediately jumped on a kitchen chair, thinking she was safe up there. "Racoons do know how to climb tall trees," I reminded her. She then told me when she came home from school, the door was wide open. Ah-ha.
I went creeping carefully into the other room and saw the very scared racoon trying to climb behind a cabinet; all that was sticking out when I got in there was his busy tail.
I called my husband, still at work, and asked him what we should do. "Shoot it," he said. Heelllllloooo - this is two women. Like we are going to get out a gun and shoot the cute little animal that just wanted to come in out of the cold. (Funny how the description changed when we thought its life was in danger!) "I can't even kill bugs," Meghan said. It's true, for me too. We would rather transplant spiders outside than smash them when all they are doing is scaring one other family member deathly afraid of them.
Meghan got on the phone to that spider-hater of ours, Marissa, away at college, and asked her what we should do. She suggested picking it up and putting it back outside. I don't think so.
Fortunately, Austin was arriving home from basketball practice at this very time and I knew we could count on him to help us out.
He really didn't want to be around the animal either; he quickly put on pants, a sweatshirt, hats and gloves, hoping these items would keep him safe.
I guess it was up to me to get the job done. As I was making my plan, the phone rang. It was my husband, wondering if it was "safe" to come home yet. Depending. He would either find a mad racoon or a mad wife; both are detrimental. He was at his office laughing about the entire situation with his co-workers.
I found a large stick and (carefully) poked the animal, trying to persuade him to move out from behind the cabinet. And it worked. Austin tried to guide him out the front door, while Meghan continued to be safe on the kitchen chair, but the racoon took a different turn and ended up in our kitchen, running right past Meghan and her perch.
Austin raced to the other door, behind the racoon, who must have sensed that was the door it came in (probably not) and began talking to him. "Come on buddy, go out."
He must not have liked being called "buddy" because it began jumping up on a bench by the door. Using an old screen (the only thing I could find) as a gate, I began pushing him off the bench and out the door and finally he was out. Whew.
Meghan came down from her chair and the three of us, still freaked out, wondered if there was more than one racoon in the house and if there was, would it or they come out and attack us in the night.
Everyone has strict orders now to make sure the door is shut tight when they leave the house. A racoon in the house was creepy enough but it could have been worse - like if one of the skunks thought it was welcome to come in...
Lorri Glawe is a reporter for the Pilot Tribune in Storm Lake.