Some of you have been here, at our house. You would know that we are “feeders.” Yes, we feed. There are numerous bird stations, a Koi Pond. We have a corn trough for the deer. Not to mention the barn full of goats, chickens, and geese, who meander in and about the fenced areas. Lots of rabbits, squirrels, and chipmunkies. We love to watch those beautiful animals, and feeding them encourages this.
On the patio by our Koi Pond, we keep a large plastic container with a screw top, filled with Koi food. It is probably 15 inches in height, with a diameter of 6 or 8 inches. It is decent in size. I went down about a week ago, first thing in the morning, to feed the fish, and the container was gone. A mystery. Upon checking the ranks, it was decided that no human took this container. Mike, our terrific guy that helps us here, suggested that it most likely went by the way of raccoon. He had already “live trapped” four raccoons earlier in the week.
I tried to imagine the scenario. The raccoon hauling away our fish food container. Did that masked bandit take the thing and roll it like a barrel down the steps and further down the hill? Off into the woods? Or did he muscle it? Did he pick it up with both forearms, and carry it off, walking upright? Tottering back and forth. And what then? When he reached his destination, did he sit with that container between his legs, unscrew the large cap, and eat fistful after fistful of tasty fish food?
We filled another plastic container. This one was square, with a snap on lid. Large. Three nights later, it went by way of raccoon.
I devised a plan. I went to the Superstore, and bought more containers. These with the thieving raccoons in mind. The food container is much like the others. Nothing special. But for the night, I purchased a small garbage pail, with a little foot pedal that opens the lid. We will put the food container in the pail at night.
If they take the food again, they wholly deserve it. This scenario would require planning, communication, and teamwork. The raccoons would have to be at least two in number, probably three. There would be one to step on the pedal, another to hold the lid up, and the third — a hulking bastard of a raccoon — to lift the container out of the pail. If Team Raccoon accomplishes this feat, I will put out a little trophy for them the very next day.
But here is the thing. They eat three entire bird feeders full of seed at night. And then — THEN — they run off with the fish food. Bingers.
I don’t mind really. It is my feeling that they need to eat, just like the rest of us. However, Mike continues to live trap, as we are concerned more with the safety of our small, but faux-courageous, dogs.
All I can say about this, is that Nature is Freaking Lit. It is magnificent in every way. Whenever I see an animal use what appears to be reasoned thought, I feel like jumping up and down, and cheering. I am astounded and amazed. When we look at the animal kingdom, there is much to see, to respect, and to be thankful for. We get to share the planet with them. And. They can enrich our lives. If we let them.
This morning, Mike went around and collected the live traps. No raccoons. However, every trap had been tripped. The bait was all gone. On one of the traps, the door had been removed — bent at the hinges. From the inside.
It is apparently clear. These are no ordinary raccoons. I’m double-dead-bolting all the doors tonight.
“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”
― Maya Angelou
“It is one thing to be clever and another to be wise.”
― George R.R. Martin
“It is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners.”
― Albert Camus, Neither Victims Nor Executioners