Dear Raccoons Wreaking Havoc in my Backyard

Enough, already. I give.

Two years ago when we moved into our lovely suburban palace, we were overjoyed, nay, blissfully enthusiastic about the "green space" that bordered our back yard. No noisy neighbours over the fence, no hopping the fence to retrieve frisbees and other projectiles, and most of all, the knowledge that nobody would be developing and moving in right behind our little piece of the pie.

Then came the wildlife.

Look, I appreciate that we're the ones living in YOUR hood, and for that I half-heartedly apologize. I mean, it wasn't ME that built this shack 25 years ago. Someone else did it. But you little fuckers are doing your best to make sure it's not all wine and roses (and weeds, and overgrown hydrangeas) at casa del Mikestand. Why, just the other day I noticed that you'd been playing with my kids' baseball bats. Now, I used to watch the Raccoons on CBC like all the other 80s kids, so I figure you lovable scamps with your funny cartoon voices were probably brushing up for some big summer tournament. But you really have to start treating your (our) equipment with a little more respect. I was picking up bits of nerf padding from all over the yard. Don't you realize how that's going to affect your grip? Bye bye home run, hello stand-up double.

I also realise that you're only animals, subject to that, er...animal instinct to eat or destroy that which confronts you (though I don't think the backyard toys did much confronting, which is more than I could say for how I might confront you had I been wielding a bat), and you're probably still a little sore (ha) about that $20 bag of parrot food we accidentally brought home from that big-retail-chain-store and left on the back deck, hoping to feed it to the birds, and on which you and your pals subsequently gorged yourselves, causing all manner of digestive distress (I know, I cleaned it all up) for what seemed like days on end. There's a phrase we humans live by: don't sh*t where you eat. Think about it.

Shortly after that little display of complete digestive meltdown, we caught you munching on grubs, or possibly weeds, or maybe they were truffles in the back yard. Awakening to the sound of crunching in the 3AM quiet of a hot summer night through the bedroom screen door can be disquieting. Flicking on the floodlight to be met with five sets of glowing eyes and darkened faces the likes of which only celebutarts of the species Lohan know, made it that much worse. But we talked ourselves through it, subconsciously acknowledging our fortune in living so close to nature (Well, I did. The Lovely Wife still makes me kill spiders and moths in the house, though I tell her I just "let the spiders outside" and she doesn't ask why the toilet flushes every time I liberate our arachnid friends.); Nature that conveniently leaves holes in my backyard, obviously begging me to do something crafty and/or cultural, like maybe randomly planting banzai trees.

And on those windy nights, when I think I hear "the wind" opening and closing our enormous compost bin on the side of our house, better judgment tells me that it's you guys snacking on that past-the-due-date chicken that mercifully never made it to our dinner plates, instead being tossed in all its fetidness away. Why is it, I ask my illogical subconscious, that the "wind" never blows the green bin lid open and shut when it's empty? Curious indeed.

But I have to know one thing. Are you guys somehow in cahoots with the fruit flies that have decided to take over the INSIDE of our homestead? Because I've got to hand it to you guys: it's an ingenious move to make homeowners move all their organics and fruit fly-attracting garbage onto the back deck, only to have it serve as a salad bar for the forest dwellers in the back forty. Again with the munching, crunching and frightened (me, not you) face-to-muzzle greeting. Bravo, my furry friends. Bravo.

The battle may be yours, but the war is far from over. I know where you sleep. Well, sort of. I know you are somewhere back there in those trees. And I hope you hibernate in the winter, because I've heard your cries and squeals as you scrap after the sun goes down, and frankly, the thought of coming face to face with you on your own turf? That scares the shit out of me, just a little bit.

Your fearful, yet benevolent neighbour,


Posted bythemikestand at 4:07 PM  

4 stepped up to the mike:

Anonymous said... 7:49 PM, September 09, 2008  

Oh, I hear you on the fruit fly front. I'm at war with the little buggers. Nothing as appetizing as going to cook dinner in a swarm.

Steph said... 9:59 PM, September 09, 2008  

Ahhhh... Cyril Sneer. The accidental good guy. Feeding Raccoons and fruit flies without intending to help at all...

Echomouse said... 12:30 PM, September 10, 2008  

If it makes you feel better, city dwellers battle the raccoon population too.

Fruit flies...I heard placing bowls of sugared water (or root beer would work I guess) around the house will attract them. They'll drown and voila, no more FF! lol

Maybe plant some wormwood to deter the coons. That's supposed to be an animal repellant.

Alison said... 10:30 AM, October 08, 2008  

We had raccoons on the deck two nights ago scrapping and yelling and screaming. They make a lot of noise! And we're not suburban, but rather quite close to the universities. Went through 4 kiddie pools before we realised we couldn't have an inflatable one and leave it up overnight with raccoons nearby. And I do wish they'd leave my bird feeders in the trees, cause they break when dropped to the ground!

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