Last night as Hannah and I were just falling asleep came a horrible squawking from the chicken coop. Unusual enough by itself, but it happened again. And again. “Shall I go check it out?” “Yes, please, right now.” Hannah replied. I grabbed the flashlight from my desk and held it to the back window, sweeping the yard. Just at the corner of the coop two amber eyes gleamed back at me. LARGE eyes.
“Hannah? I need a robe and my keys. Now please.”
Pulled on pants, robe, grabbed what turned out to be a cobweb duster, and ran barefoot to the back yard. The racoon had already mounted the wall and was ambling north. I waved blue bristles in his direction and made noises like a bear with bad diarrhea. He stared at me in what appeared to be contempt, either for the ridiculous noises I was making or for my lack of adequate armament I couldn’t be sure. Nevertheless I continued to push forward and he continued to avoid me. Eventually he threw me a final dirty look over his shoulder and disappeared into my neighbors yard.
This morning, I went and bought two things that I’d never had reason to own: A high-power BB rifle and slip-on boots.
I got no small amount of shade walking through the mall with my purchases. One older woman in overalls eyeballed me and sucked her teeth in disapproval. I made sure to give her a sunny smile and a V for victory. Now that I’m home and I have this strange thing next to my bed do I realize that I’ve one more trapping of being a farmer: