Critter invasion disrupts the peace
I am a born and raised Mississippian, but there is just one thing I can’t seem to get over.
Mississippi critters are both a blessing but mostly a curse for me. The animals and reptiles found on my native soil still hold me at a level of fascination and fear.
My husband Jason came into work last week, shoving me our digital camera in my face.
“Look what I found,” he said, with excitement.
Flipping through the screen of the camera, I stopped on the picture of a four-foot cottonmouth.
“Oh my goodness,” I shrieked. “What is that?”
I knew perfectly well what it was. The snake was captured in the photograph in attack mode. He had his narrow head coiled back, and the all too familiar white mouth was widely exposed right at the camera.
Then the better question came to my mind.
“Where is that thing,” I asked.
“It was at the house,” Jason said, walking away. “But I killed him.”
I sat in silence, in shock I presume. Never mind the fact that Jason somehow felt compelled to conduct a photo shoot before killing the snake, that thing, that horrible creature was near my house.
“Where at the house,” I continued.
“It was in the driveway, heading to the pond,” Jason said.
A million thoughts went through my brain at that moment about the snake. What if our dog Dee Dee had tried to protect our house and was attacked by the beast? What if our son James had come across it? What if, getting out of my vehicle, I had stepped on it? What if it inched its way closer to our porch?
I was a nervous wreck. Over the past few weeks, the safety of our home has been tested by a variety of critters.
Preparing our flower bed for my yearly massacre of plants, our friendly little mole made his appearance out of his winter tunnels. We quickly purchased a mole trap in town, but was stopped dead in our efforts the very next day.
“I found that mole,” Jason said. “One of the babies (pets) must have got it. It’s under the porch.”
Easing near the edge of our porch, I saw the mole. It appeared as if it was sleeping. Unfortunately for him it was the “big sleep,” but I was actually relieved that we wouldn’t have to use that medieval-looking contraption we’d purchased to remove the pest.
I finally had a face to the creature that had destroyed my yard. My yard doesn’t even look like a yard. It looks like a series of dirt humps and tunnels.
But then a chill went up my spine knowing this dead creature was right under my feet. When I sit on my swing to have a peaceful moment to myself, I will now wonder what is under me.
A few days before that, I woke up from a peaceful sleep thinking someone was breaking into my house. I had my bedroom window open, and I heard rustling in the leaves under it.
Leaves don’t scare me, but noises at 3 a.m. do.
“Oh my gosh,” I thought to myself. “Someone is outside.”
And what do I do? Like many people raised in the country, I looked for a weapon and went to investigate.
Discovering it was some kind of critter under my window, I quickly woke Jason up.
“There is something moving outside the window,” I whispered. “I think it’s that mole.”
“It can’t be that mole,” Jason said, groaning out of bed. “Let me see.”
Shining his flashlight on the ground, it was a creepy armadillo. It was digging holes all in our yard, and the thing didn’t even care that we were shining light on him. I don’t think their eyesight is that good because I don’t even think it knew we were there.
The next morning, I found holes all over my side yard.
“I’m killing every one I see,” I said, out loud as if someone was listening to my vow.
I know to expect the usual suspects like snakes, deer, lizards, racoons, skunks and other critters. I was raised in the country so it’s not like I am not used to them.
But that doesn’t mean I have to like them. Why can’t my yard be filled with an abundance of butterflies or sweet hummingbirds?
I don’t have a yard. I have a jungle filled with sneaky moles, destructive armadillos, angry wasps, hungry deer and combative snakes.
I guess I am Jane and my husband is a country version of Tarzan. He will protect me from everything that goes bump in the day and night in our little jungle.
Or maybe I should just sleep with the window closed.