Note the royal “we” in the title? It was really Glenn, although I had a hand in going to the big hunter’s store with him, Claire in tow.
The store has a big fancy name now and, I guess, some fancy new American owners, but I remember it as Sidney I. Robinson, a landmark Winnipeg business that has been around for 85 years or more. But I digress.
Foiled again, Glenn dug in his heels and vowed to capture the mangy critters that were making a mockery of his efforts to keep them out of our garden. His anxiety was well placed. Raccoons are often rabid, but worse, they carry a breed of roundworm in their feces that can be fatal to humans. The eggs of this nasty creature are microscopic and can be breathed in. Ugh!
So we went, hundred-dollar bill in hand, to get a bigger trap. Glenn had been trapping with a rabbit trap, way too small for anything but the juveniles, which he had caught twice.
“Do you want a killing trap or a humane trap,” asked a helpful clerk, who went on to explain that the killing trap would chop the heads off the unlucky intruder. “It may also chop off your hand, dear,” I suggested just as helpfully.
“I won’t allow a killing trap,” announced nine-year-old Claire with great emphasis.
We walked out 15 minutes later with a big metal contraption that would allow the raccoon to see through both ends. “Use cat food,” the clerk advised. “Or black bananas.” Glenn went shopping last night for cat food.
He put this trap right out in the open, under the birdbath, and he secured it with tent pegs and tied it down with elastic luggage rope. This time, he was determined to keep both the raccoon and the trap in place.
Sure enough, when I awoke at 6:30 this morning, I ran outside to see the result, and there it was, round eyed and exhausted from trying to get out. I never thought to take a picture until tonight when it was gone, picked up by animal services for a long ride to parts unknown. But you can see the holes it dug in the lawn through the openings in the cage.
“Oh! He’s so cute,” said Claire, but I notice she didn’t go too close. The raccoon was quiet, totally worn out from trying to escape. I hate to confess that I felt barely a twinge of sympathy.
There’ll be no trapping tonight since Animal Services still have our cage, but we know there are several brothers and sisters still at large – and maybe the mom. It’s hard to tell which one was caught this time. Their calling cards, though obvious, are indecipherable.