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I write novels, eat dark chocolate, raise three children, love my husband, scrub toilets, ignore the laundry, and love a good story, but hardly ever in that order.



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Friday, July 10, 2009

Rodent of Unusual Size

A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting in our family room with Ani and Mitch going over Mensa flashcards. We’d just finished a review of the American Revolution and were beginning our trigonometry problem sets when *we heard what sounded like a large bag of wet sand being hurled against the door to the deck. (*Point in the story where I stop lying.) We looked over to see this:

Now, I’m all about ethical treatment of animals and such, but this thing was HUGE. It could have easily dropkicked me. Or eaten my 11-month-old for a fiber-filled snack.
My children were ENTHRALLED. And borderline worried because their mother was making fearful, high-pitched noises and saying, “Oooh, don’t touch it! Where’s your father? Don’t touch it!” We were, of course, completely protected by the walls of our home but that wasn’t really computing. The vermin just kept throwing himself at our door, TYRING TO GET IN SO HE COULD EAT US.  Plus, he did this with his face:

Eventually, after I’d called Marc and he’d promised to come home and rescue us, I climbed down off the kitchen table and took a deep breath. The Animal Control woman I interrogated on the phone assured me in a soothing, long-voweled North Dakota accent (?!) that the critter was a woodchuck that “just like the rest of nature, wouldn’t bother unless provoked.” Ahem. Was I PROVOKING it when we were sitting in the family room with our trig sets*? (*untrue) The North Dakotan thought I was a bit too hysterical for her taste and explained she could not send over a trap because all her traps were being used for CATS. (What? You all don’t routinely trap CATS in your cities?)
The whole event was really too emotional for me. In fact, I’m all worked up remembering it now. It hasn’t helped that Marc insists on calling it Chuckles the Woodchuck, which is far too humanizing for me. He’ll come home and ask if we’ve seen Chuckles that day. And I’m sorry to say that yes, on a few more occasions, WE HAVE.
But the minute those traps are free of cats, I’m ON it. Chuckles will be no match for a woman who knows a LOT about the Revolutionary War.


  1. That critter's got a friend of his hanging out over by our house. Last summer he made a number of appearances, once even taking a swim in our pool. (It was on our deck, I opened the door and barked at it, it freaked out and jumped into our pool.) After doing the woodchuck paddle for an hour or two it somehow found a way out. (Animal control wanted to charge me upwards of $200 to come rescue it and let it run around my backyard some more. No thanks!) Anywho, the unexpected swim sent it into early hibernation, and we didn't see it again until it came back to snack on our deck again this spring. Bad critter!

    Oh, and I appluad you on your random allusion to trigonometry in your post. As a uset-to-be high school math teacher, it's always nice to be reminded of the appropriate fear and awe people have for such cranial subjects. ;)

  2. Just please keep that thing on your side of the neighborhood and not our's!!! I would have been freaking out, too. Maybe he (she?) is friends with the raccoon that ate the fish out of our pond? Seriously, do we live in the rural areas of this town? I think not...

    btw - can't see the video...says it is private.

  3. Thanks for the heads-up, Sarah! You should be able to see the vid now, though you might wish you'd never asked....

  4. LOL! Oh no, I'm quite thankful that I asked! ;)

  5. the video was the highlight. :) How is Chuckles?

  6. Oh my word!!! How scary and hilarious at the same time!! Love the video demonstration. LOL

    We found a mole last summer and I about flipped out. Those pink feet and nose were just too rodent-ish. :)