There's a raccoon living under my back porch

Now, I know what you're thinking. Here's this fearless Crocodile Dundee-type veteran outdoorsman belly-crawling under his back porch after a ferocious saber-toothed beast with naught so much as a pen knife for protection.

I must admit, it was at this time the very same revelation hit me.

"You probably should have brought the .22, ya schmuck," I said aloud, insulting myself for the second time, then thought, "The thing's probably rabid - and you should do him in before he attacks one of the dogs. Or worse - one of the kids."

But, I had somewhat of an epiphany under that porch as I laid on my stomach, one cheek of my face pushed into the porch's dirty underbelly.

"We are all God's creatures, one and all," I thought. "We should all have the right to a nice home, even if that home is a basement breezeway."

I reached my hand out slowly so as to pat ol' Toaster Strudel atop his semi-conscious head and tickle his wispy chin-hair beneath his ferocious saber-teeth.

Ok, not really.

What, are you crazy? That's my typing hand for God's sake. My hypocrisy goes just so far.

But, I did leave the little beast be.

This from the guy who helped put himself through high school trapping everything from coyote to fox to otter to muskrat.

From the guy who, not more than six months ago, chased a similar masked bandit from - of all places - his second-story bedroom.

Nevertheless, no one can ever accuse me of killing just for the sake of killing.

Unless, of course, we are talking about a snake. For that, I hold no moral standards whatsoever - false or otherwise.

"At least he isn't in my bedroom," I thought, and backed out the way I had come.

John Gereau is managing editor of Denton Publications and an avid outdoorsman. He can be reached at johng@denpubs.com.

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