E over at *E* Deconstructed posted a post (which is the best thing to do with a post) about, among other things, the guilt she felt for flattening a raccoon. While I'm not one to celebrate and enjoy the destruction of one of God's special creatures, in this case, I don't feel too bad (as long as the death was quick and painless).
Last week, the fam and I took a little camping trip to the southern part of Minnesota. We (the six of us) are tenters. No miniature house for us. Just a thin layer of slightly water repelling nylon (?) between us and nature.
At our first campsite, when dusk hit, I knew we were not alone. My two youngest were sleeping, my wife took the older two to the potty. I sat alone by the campfire when I realized something was walking next to me in the dark. I turned expecting to see a familiar face when instead I turned and found myself face to face with a bandit masked rodent. I jumped a tad and shooed it away thinking, "what a wonderful encounter with nature. I'm glad I got it to leave" Little did I know, he had friends.
Late that night, after all the kids were in bed, a steady stream of raccoons started to enter our campsite. At first, it was one or two at a time, and they were either searching for scraps of food or, as I am inclined to believe, scraps of human flesh. Finally, my wife gave up and went to bed leaving me to defend my family from the rabid horde.
For about 15 minutes all was quiet until the raccoon version of Shaun of the Dead began. I was sitting in my chair by a dying campfire while reading (with head lamp) a book. Three coons came out of the forest to my right. I threw some rocks at them and scared them off, but I didn't notice the other three on my left until they were two feet away. I turned my attention to my left flank and using rocks I sent those back into the woods only to realize the ones on my right were returning. In addition, there was another group at my 12 o'clock position beginning an assault on my position. In a near paniced state, I started throwing rocks to my left, right and forward position to repel the evil when the thought to check my rear entered my mind. Sure enough, there were coons behind me. I was surrounded. Using pieces of firewood as artillery, I made a hasty retreat to the family minivan where I holed up for 10 minutes waiting for the undead to find their scraps of food (which there was very little of as I run a tight and clean camping outfit) and leave. They finally moved on. I was in the clear. I hurried off to pee in the woods and go to bed. I fell asleep to the constant sounds of raccoons fighting and scavenging,
In the morning, after changing two poopy diapers, I headed off to the dumpster to dispose of the befouled polyacrylate. Certain that daylight had rendered the raccoon danger null, I opened the dumpster lid only to be face-to-face with a raccon. This raccoon however, was young and apparently incapable of escaping its dumpster dive. I threw the dirty diapers on its head and left feeling very little pity.