Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Mangler

The night of Mom and Pops' wedding, we pulled up to the house after the whole shindig was over, exhausted and thinking of little else than our fatigue. The back of the van was full of cupcakes, leftover food, 900 pounds of those little shower mints, and three very tired kids. Paul had driven his truck full of fans, coolers, a punch bowl, signs, etc in to town to leave at the newlyweds' house. I was going to back up to the front door to make unloading a little easier, since it was just me and the kids and my kids are a little skittish out here in the boondocks at night.

As I wheeled into the front yard the headlights caught on a pair of glowing eyes. My initial thought was that one of the cats was on the front porch, but within a second or two I realized that none of our cats are that big. It was one of the biggest raccoons I've ever seen. He was on the porch snacking on Biscuit's food. I hollered, "Kids! Look! A coon!" They woke from their half-asleep stupors to go "Oooh!"

Of course, the coon took off towards the woods when it realized we would soon be breaking in on his munching. I backed the van up to the porch and shut off the engine.

No one moved.

I was gathering up my purse and camera and had my hand on the door handle when I realized that the kids were still just sitting there. I said, "Come on kids, I know you're awake. Let's get this stuff unloaded."

From the back of the van came a quiet voice that said, "Nuh uh. I ain't goin' anywhere. That coon might jump out and GET ME!" Ah, Sam. Such a brave one. Abby, though, full of bravado, said, "Oh good grief. Here. I'll scare him off." And with that she opened her door and hollered into the night a sound that somewhat resembled the warhoop SpongeBob makes when he's jellyfishing. She kind of made a high AH sound, but at the same time variated it with higher and lower sounds.

She turned around to me with the door still open, a look of satisfaction on her face. Oh yes, the brave coon scarer had done her job. Without cracking a smile, I said, "Awesome, Ab. You just hollered out the raccoon mating call." Instantly her eyes got huge and she slammed her door and sat there panting in anticipation of the hoardes of raccoons she just knew were going to come and attack our van. Because our van obviously resembles a female raccoon in heat.

Now, fast forward to last night when we pulled in after a post-VBS run to Wal*Mart. It was closing in on 11pm and as we approached the driveway I said, "Did anyone check the mail today?" Sam immediately yelled from the middle seat, "I ain't checkin' it! It's dark and as soon as I open the door Abby'll holler out that raccoon mangling call!"

The laughter from the other four people in the car would've scared off any mangling raccoons in the neighborhood.


Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

I'm tellin' ya, y'all would make a great reality show.

A regular ratings bonanza!

Robin said...

Roy and I went to Branson and was staying at one the cottage type hotels out by SDC..He took out the trash and was really excited to have seen some coons.
"get your camera and come on."
So we both head out there and he opened the dumpester. And You can call me Fred if that male coon didn't stand up on his hind legs and say, "This is my trash, BACK OFF!"

In Coon of course!
And I snapped my photo and ran!!

Not a critter to mess with!

We....the people

Originally published in The Miami News-Record, July 2020 Everything is different now. I’m not just talking about masks and social distancing...