Sunday, June 03, 2007

Of Backyard Invaders

Yesterday evening as I closed an upstairs window, I startled a big, hairy, weird-looking creature in our backyard. He loped over my fading forget-me-nots into the assorted sprout-where-they-may trees behind our shed.

So I ran downstairs to tell Tom we'd been invaded by something rather like what a mad scientist might create using a rat, a cat and a beaver. By that time, the creature, Mr. What-The-Heck-Is-That?, stood boldly on my little brick patio chewing strawberry leaves from a planter like salad from a bowl. We watched him from the window and thought at first he was a muskrat, but no, his long, furry and kinda-flat tail was all wrong. And he was huge--the size of a Cocker Spaniel (well, nearly). I thought maybe he was a weird-looking teenage beaver, but Tom said no.

But finally today, after spying him still in the backyard munching leaves like he'd found rodent heaven, Tom and I did a search online and discovered that the big, scary creature in our yard is a woodchuck.

And now I hesitate to even go back there. I told Tom if he hears a scream it will probably be me. Or the woodchuck. Or both of us.

I've learned to live with wild rabbits (who have a hutch beneath our shed) and squirrels and once, for two days, we even had a possum (you should have seen me race--trying to look casual-- inside the house the first time I saw him!). And the cute little brown mice who I don't mind as long as they stay outside and birds, of course.

And now we have a huge, kinda ugly, kinda fascinating woodchuck. Here in our yard. Here in the suburbs.

Oh well. I keep telling God and Tom and anyone else who will listen that I want to move to the country. Perhaps God is bringing the country to me, first, to make certain that's what I really want. After all, there've been a few times I only thought I wanted something, but afterward, I was glad (whew!) God chose something I loved better.

Hmm... Maybe if I just get a yard big enough for a clothesline I'll be perfectly happy. Oh how I long for and dream about a clothesline!

But I can do without the woodchuck.

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