Saturday, January 19, 2008

Gardening Naked at 3a.m. - Part One

This was written shortly before I started this blog. I decided against publishing it at that time but in light of last weekend's events, that story feels a little incomplete without this one.

A family of coons has been squawking in the back yard off and on all night long. Mabel, my rottie – lab – greyhound, is going berserk. There is no sleep for the weary on a night like this.

I let the dog out. She makes for the mulberry tree. I shine a flashlight up into the tree and see three sets of beady little eyes shining back at me. I turn on the hose and squirt up and into the tree. The two larger ones go scurrying down the tree, careful to stay on the canal side of my fence, and take off.

Most raccoons run away from water. If I squirt the water over their heads, they usually go down and run away. But the little one apparently hasn’t read the rule book. Every time I squirt the water up over his head, he climbs higher in the tree.

It is a warm October night. Shooting the hose high in the air, I realize the water is running straight down my arm and into my nightgown. As an avid night swimmer, I know the thing that gets me too cold and eventually sick is a wet bathing suit. While waiting for the coon to come lower in the tree, I peel off the wet nightgown.

When the coon comes lower, again, I shoot him with water and higher he climbs. Frustrated, thinking my mother could be right – that I might not have a coon problem if I didn’t have mulberries; I decide the tree is coming down. If I can’t hose that little critter out of my yard, I’ll cut him out.

I get my long loppers and start trimming branches. I trim so many, I can’t even stand beneath the tree. The coon comes lower and I hose him again. Again, he goes higher. Thinking my half naked gardening is frightening him, I decide the cherry tree must go too. I go over to the side yard and start trimming it.

My panties have gotten soaked and, since I have very high fences and it is 3 a.m., I lose them too. I’m doing such close cutting and in the dark, I’m suddenly afraid I might cut off my own breast. I step back and mentally and take a look at myself: a mad, wet red-head, wearing only gardening shoes and cutting every branch in her back yard, oblivious to her own ferociously barking dog.

I get Mabel and go inside. With only one coon in the tree, there isn’t the usual chatter and we get to sleep. In the morning, I’m stunned at the aftermath of my gardening escapade. There are so many limbs in my yard, it looks as though I actually took the whole tree down.


But the little coon is gone. Guess I showed him at thing two!


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4 comments:

Velvet Sacks said...

Hahahahahaha! This is hysterical, Holly. I'm so glad you decided to post it. And I'd say you showed that raccoon way more than you'd usually show to the rest of the world.

CreekHiker said...

Velvet, You ain't kiddin! Hard to believe I'm such a modest girl from reading this! LOl!

ordinaryjanet said...

The scary thing is, I can see myself doing that! and I don't have high fences-just a chain-link.

I was wondering how you got Mabel go go in the house and shut up, when she knew there was still one coon out there?

CreekHiker said...

Janet, Getting Mabel in the house when there is a coon in the yard, involves a lot of yelling, chasing, catching, and pulling. I think I probably snagged her when she took a water break near the back door.