The Predator Becomes the Prey

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I found this story in my drafts folder from about two years ago!

raccoon

Raccoon photo courtesy of Pixabay.

We spotted a raccoon. In our yard.

Normally this would be met with a little excitement, mingled with a twinge of fear as in: Don’t let the kids get close; it could be rabid.

But tonight the sight meant: We have chickens! Get that b*stard out of here!

No one said that, of course. The children, after all. But Hubs and I were thinking it.

He grabbed a stick and chased after the raccoon, which jumped on the lattice fence. As it was crawling down the other side, Hubs jabbed the stick through a hole and got the racoon in its belly. It fell the remaining two feet and scurried off.

[If you love all creatures, great and small, including chicken killers, my apologies.]

“That will keep him away. But not for long,” Hubs said.

The children went on the offensive. Armed with sticks and a surprisingly functionalΒ  homemade bow and arrow, they kept guard, marching back and forth along the fence.

For about five minutes. Then they ran off to play.

At bedtime the youngest’s parting words to me were, “If the raccoon comes back, maybe we should threaten it with a knife.”

Yep, that oughta do it because nothing frightens woodland creatures like small shiny objects wielded by hobbits.

Modern day update: The raccoon has not resurfaced; although, there was once a skunk within the chickens’ fenced-in area, while the chickens were safely locked in their coop. We gingerly propped the fence open, then hid behind the shed, watching the skunk meander its way out before shutting the fence again. We soon reinforced the fortifications.

Have you had any fun (or not so fun) adventures with wild animals?

 

36 responses »

  1. Yes I am battling moles! I have an underground city of them in our yard. I step down the mounds and runs every day and today I decided not to post on my blog so I could get that creep, I have killed one but there are many more I’m sure. It is in the far part of our property so I took my chair, coffee and iPad so I could play games since I couldn’t get WIFI on the hottest day ever on October 1st! I sat there with my small pitchfork ready to attack and I waited and sweat from 9:00-12:00 and it never showed up. So I came into the A/C and went out every half hour…nothing! Then I went every hour…nothing! I swear it is smarter than me! It has been here every day for months. So I waited until 7:00 pm and threw a smoke bomb in the run….it made me feel better…hahahaha

    Liked by 1 person

    • Diane, you’re so devious! I love it! We don’t have moles, but we do have gophers digging up our back yard. They drive my husband crazy. We also have hawks scaring our chickens, which might be contributing to them laying less. One day my husband came inside and said, “One good thing about the hawks: I found what’s left of a gopher in the back yard.” I guess there’s that! πŸ™‚ Maybe you need an owl box to entice an owl to move in. It might take care of those moles for you. We might do that, but for yet another predator scaring the chickens.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. One night out on the trellis just outside our window a raccoon and an opossum got into a little shouting match. The raccoon was trying to climb up the trellis while the opossum was heading down. The screeching they made horrible. I turned on the patio light and yelled at them from the door.

    They both turned to look at me as if to say, “This is a private fight – none of your business.”

    When I turned out the light they continued their howling for a few more minutes before crawling off into the dark.

    Shortly after, we removed the trellis …

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh man, what a show down! And, haha, I love your description of the look they gave you. Somehow, I don’t doubt your impression was correct. Glad removing the trellis took care of the problem. No doubt it was far easier than installing a stop light and a crosswalk.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Raccoons, definitely have those! Hubs just informed me we have a groundhog in the metal pile (on a former farm, there is metal everywhere!), coyotes at the border, resident hawks that take turns eyeing the pigeons, rodents that nibble the beets and kohlrabi. Oh, and two dogs and a cat that won’t have anything to do with them. Except the dogs like to play with the black and white fuzzy critters. Phew!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow. Yeah. You win! We get skunk spray at night so often. When we leave windows open during the night, I wake up to the whole house smelling like skunk. It’s gross, but after a while you sort of get used to it. Hope the chickens don’t mind it. I’m sure they get it worse.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ugh I have a scary memory from safari in Uganda . We went on a boat that got stuck on the sand bank and we had crocodiles and hippos surrounding us which were coming closer. We had to all start swinging from side to side to make the boat getting lose from the sand. Took a while but we managed and we couldn’t get away quicker…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. A few years ago we watched from inside our house as Grandpa Raccoon detached our bird feeder, filled with seed, from its hook and dragged the feeder down the deck steps intending on taking the bird feeder home with him. We pounded on the glass and he skedaddled without the bird feeder… but talk about a gutsy move on his part. 😳

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Last week I walked out of my house, in the dark morning, to the horrifying stench of a skunk. I could hear my neighbors big hulky dog whining in the far corner….. I guess I know who won that one.

    Like

  7. Raccoons are intelligent. And dexterous. And quite family-oriented from what I’ve heard. It’s hard to hate them for being wild animals looking for food. But you had every right to let this raccoon know that your chickens are not available for them.
    We battle with the squirrels. They love to jump up on our bird feeder and our suet feeder and chomp away. My guy runs out and yells at them (rather hilariously). The squirrels run up the trees and look down and scream back. I think it’s a game to them. They’re so adorable (really, they are) that I just watch them, and from time to time they’ll sit on their haunches and visit with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My neighbor’s chickens live in a fort.
    Their raccoons are like wolves, and they’ll chew right through chicken wire. Git yerself some raccoon wire, Betsy.

    It’s too long a story, but when I lived in a crappy old house with a hole in the floor under the sink cabinet, we were frequently visited by possums. At night, they’d climb up through the hole and out of the cabinet into the kitchen to eat cat food. Then they’d hang out in the recycling bin until morning. I’d pick them up by the tail and leave them playing dead on the woodpile. It became a routine for a while. πŸ™‚

    Like

    • Wow! You had quite the woodsy upbringing. One wonders why that hole couldn’t be fixed to keep the possums out. Handy, though, that they play dead rather than bite you. I don’t know of anyone else who has held a possum, so you just earned some cool points with me. (I once pet a pelican. That’s my greatest claim to fame. πŸ˜‰ )

      Liked by 1 person

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