First, a disclaimer: the house that we bought is not exactly in the country. But it is on 2 acres, and we do have a well, and I had to fill out some weird form about "rural postal service" when we moved in, so it's about as country as I'm ever going to get.
At any rate, Greg was on a plane to Dallas and the kids and I were blissfully digging into some school work this morning when a plump, dazed, incredibly creepy raccoon ambled onto our deck. I shot out of my seat and ran over to the glass French doors that look out onto the deck with the kids gleefully at my heels. The thing saw me, turned, and proceeded to march (Do raccoons march? Yes. Yes they do.) right over to me. It got as close to the door as it could without going through it and glared at me. Terrified, I checked to make sure the door was locked. In case, you know, it was about to break in or something. Then I hustled the kids into the family room and we huddled at a different window where we didn't feel as threatened. It marched over to the window we were at and stood up on its haunches. I almost died. I called my dad, the first person I always call in these situations. My mom answered. "Put Dad on the phone!" I yelled. After I reported the distressing news of our rabid friend, he said calmly, "Why don't you call animal control?"
Of course! Why didn't I think of that?
I googled. I dialed. A man answered, clearly annoyed that I was interrupting his morning coffee. "A rabid raccoon is on my deck!" I announced loudly. I'm pretty sure I heard him sigh.
"What makes you think it's rabid?" he asked, as if we had all the time in the world.
"Well, it's 11 am!" I retorted.
"So?" he said.
"Well, raccoons are NOCTURNAL," I said importantly.
"So?" he said.
"Well it's sitting on my deck glaring at me!" I yelled.
"Is it acting aggressively toward you?" he asked.
"I said it was glaring, didn't I?"
"Maybe it's hungry," he suggested.
"Well is that NORMAL?" I asked. "Because nothing about this situation seems normal to me."
This time I know he sighed. He didn't even try to hide it.
"Mam, in warmer weather like we're havin' today, raccoons could come out during the daytime if they're hungry. It's not abnormal. But if you want, I'll send someone out," he said.
"Yes, well, I think that's a good idea," I replied.
Three hours later, after our creepy visitor had all the time in the world to glare at us through several more windows and finally wander, dazed and confused, back into the woods, the Game Commission guy arrived.
I proceeded to show him several incriminating pictures I had taken of the raccoon that morning on my iphone.
"SEE?" I asked triumphantly. "How creepy is THAT?" It may have been my imagination, but he seemed amused. "Let me take a look around, mam," he said politely. "It's probably not rabies, it's probably distemper. Either way, if we find him we'll have to dispatch him."
"Oh," I said. "And what does 'dispatch' mean, exactly?"
He laughed, even though I wasn't trying to be funny. Then he pointed to his gun and winked at me. Lovely.
He walked around my yard and shined a flashlight here and there as I nervously followed him from window to window. A few minutes later he was at the front door again. "Well mam, it seems he's gotten away," he reported. "If you see him again, definitely give us a call, but I wouldn't worry too much. If it's sick like I think it is, the coyotes or black bears around here will probably get him."
Oh, good. I feel so much better now.
An hour later, I received a text from my friends, all of whom found the day's emergency situation to be hilarious. "The new Laura," it gleefully announced: