Some of you may recall the blog titled “The Sad Squirrel” wherein I described the suicide of a New Jersey flying squirrel in my guest bedroom’s toilet; the same blog included a recount of the day the mad (both angry and insane) raccoon tried to get in through my car’s sunroof and ride shotgun in my passenger seat. Well, a recent incident reminded me of a few more of my run-ins with the animal kingdom. But before I tell you about that, I thought, since it is just past Thanksgiving, I’d share with you the relationship I’ve had with turkeys. Not the human kind, but the wild kind that live in the woods.
I fought an ongoing battle with wild turkeys at my New Jersey residence. Not the bourbon, either, but the real deal. They would wander around my front lawn and when they’d see me coming home in my car, they’d race over to its side and start pecking at its shiny black doors even as I drove up to the garage. I used to have to perform what I called the “Bat Cave Maneuver” which required me to hit the opener as I approached (my driveway was two-tenths of a mile long) and drive as fast as I could into the garage and close the door with the car still running. (and yes, I frequently hummed to myself the “Doodadoodadooda…BATMAN!” theme as I did so.) I’d then wait several minutes before exiting (but the car was shut off) just to make sure none of them had squeaked past the door and were hiding in the shadows of the junk stored there. It also required keeping perfectly still and barely breathing since they can be very sneaky little devils and don’t always do the “Gobble Gobble” thing before they attack. I did a little research (among the things I learned about wild turkey is that they have been known to particularly enjoy going after mailmen, many of whom wound up in the hospital) and that they were most likely attacking my car not because they had a personality conflict with me, but because they could see their reflection and were defending their turf against possibly invading turkeys from another area. Boy, are they dumb. But then again, in fairness to the turkeys, I doubt they had mirrors in the forest so they would recognize themselves.
So, on to my latest adventure with the population of the Wild Kingdom.
Last Saturday, the More Often Than Not Significant Other (MOFTNSO) went overboard with helping me. Not only did he carry stuff up and down a ladder to store things in the newly-installed garage racking that he built a couple of weeks ago, but he also went with me to Lowes and toted back a tall cabinet which needed to be put together. I’ve piled up so many things for the website that I really needed a place to organize and store it all. Well, with a minimum amount of wondering why we couldn’t find “Part JB” and “Part JD” (why they begin with “J” I have no idea) the MOFTNSO, virtually all by himself, put the thing together. I’d picked out a spot in the corner of the garage where it would fit nicely, be accessible at the same time it would be out of the way. Came time for the big move of the completed container and it fell on me to relocate my golf clubs and my golf cart from the designated area, while the MOFTNSO tweaked the final parts on the shelving. I got the cart out, lifted the golf bag and next to it was the dessicated carcass of some critter that had long since gone to Animal Heaven. It was big, black and furry. I am not usually really “girlie” about such things but it startled me so much that I jumped and scooted away yelling “It’s a big black thing with legs! It’s a big black thing with legs!” The MOFTNSO began what I call “The Spider Dance”… he jumps around and waves his hands about his head and brushes off his shoulders. Unbeknownst to me, to him a big black thing with legs is a Black Widow spider…and he thought it was on him. When the dust settled, I pointed to the “thing” on the floor in the corner. He went over and being one of the smartest people I know, immediately discerned that it was – or at least had been – a rabbit. The theory is that the poor mad hopper had consumed some poison and wandered into my garage where he passed (peacefully, I hope) into Rabbit Heaven. The dilemma was what to do with it, since my trash pick-up was not for another five days. My brave MOFTNSO grabbed the shovel and started scraping. However, my buddy, Bugs, wasn’t giving up his final resting place on the cement floor. It was horrifying. He finally got it and started towards the garbage can and asked me to open the lid. There was absolutely no way my late furry friend was just going straight into the trash. I forced MOFTNSO to stand there while I found a heavy duty, triple-thickness trash bag to use as a burial vault. Then he was allowed to dump it into the can, but not before he asked me if I wanted a rabbit’s foot for good luck. Judging from Bugs’ untimely death in my garage, I didn’t think his feet were very lucky. Had they been filled with fortune, Bugs would have hopped on out of there and lived happily after.
I now have three bags of garbage in my kitchen because I don’t want to open the can until the last possible moment before rolling it to the curb, lest he somehow has arisen or the odor will knock me out cold. It would not make MOFTNSO happy should he arrive and find a dessicated woman in nearly the same place as he found the unfortunate rabbit. Please don’t ask me to pet sit. It won’t bode well for your furry friend.