Some families worry about being stalked by weird relatives, odd friends, strange neighbors or sales people (evangelical or otherwise) who regularly drop in and create havoc. This despite numerous attempts to discourage such interruptions, the stalkers persist visiting regardless. We have one such regular visitor, less normal than the rest and still not identified as belonging to any particular denomination…a porcupine.
Yah, okay, laugh as you imagine I am making a mountain out of this molehill but believe me this is no ordinary porcupine. This is porcupine “a la Schwarzenegger”…this thing has got to be the size of a small couch…I kid you not!!! It is literally three feet high and almost as wide. This creature is built like a MAC truck. Tanks in the army are not as resilient as this fellow.
Furthermore, I know this critter suffers from a personality disorder as there is no way a normal animal would keep returning to our home, night after night, after the many efforts made by this family to discourage this mooch. There is no way our garbage tastes that good. With nine kids there is very little ever left for the garbage. Not to mention the two babies at our house both still sporting disposable diapers (“yummy” pickings in our garbage). There is only one word for this intruder….DIABOLICAL.
It is one thing to attract hangers-on but to consistently show up garbage or no garbage is an obsession. While starving on the very slim pickings in our garbage to then want to continuously sort through the same trash over and over again (despite the pungent odour of bad diapers left for days in weather where it has been 90 degrees or higher) means this animal is not normal.
I am convinced this porcupine is a spy. I wonder sometimes if it actually works for some nosy neighbor who wants to know more about the weird people with the nine kids.
The notice given to the porcupine of “YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE” includes spraying it with a power washer, hitting it with a hockey stick, fighting with our golden retriever (yep 120 some quills later), the 16-year-old launching a bicycle pump rocket-style at its head and numerous occasions of “frightening” it with sound (beyond just the frightening noise of nine children). This thing is not only impervious and tenacious but waddles around the property (day and night) as though it owns the place. I think it is biding its time until a real meal is served… like someone forgets that the 6-year-old is still outside.
Recently I was out-of-town with all the younger kids (7 of them) and came home at 1:00 am from a four-hour drive. Made plans to exit the vehicle and start carrying the little sleeping bodies in, one by one. I head to the front door with the two-year-old passed out in my arms and suddenly I am aware of an ominous shadow on my front doorstep (I am now less than two feet away). Uh-huh, it is the demon himself. I run back to the van not before the 12-year-old (who was with me) SCREAMS at the top of her lungs waking up the entire van (who now in unison are all howling). So I turn the van around, drive up onto my lawn and shine my headlights on “bright” only to discover the animal is ensconced on my doormat totally obliterating my doorway.
A moment of brilliance struck as I rummaged through my vehicle’s contents (swimsuits, towels, garbage, balloons, books, Legos, Barbie’s, crackers…etc.) and found a nice, icy cold, FULL (unopened) 500 ml water bottle. I hurled the water bomb at the door. The critter moved the fastest I have ever witnessed before and beat a quick retreat into the bushes.
I am happy to report that in the five days since the water assault on this animal there has been no more porcupine sightings. Is it possible that the creature finally got the message? Or perhaps the beast is scared of cold water, or it is in neighboring brush nursing a concussion with the water bottle Either way it is not here and I am delighted.
Memo to self…always travel with a full water bottle. It is true water is good for both your health, your state of mind, your body and apparently the safety of your entire family and how. Who knew?
A well-watered Garden-Goat
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