A Ride in the Country

We live in the country. Such as it is. You know: overrun with dirt and insects and vile nature and stuff. When it comes to the Green Acres dilemma of Fresh Air v. Times Square and The Chores v. The Stores, I’m ready to side with Mrs. Douglas. We got critters everywhere, even in the attic and the walls. Seriously, I’m ready for a condo.

We now have a pesky woodchuck who’s determined to move into our garden shed and set up housekeeping. I’ve evicted it twice, the second time after it got locked in and had second thoughts about the shabby accommodations and mice, and nearly tore the siding off trying to get out. So I set out the live trap and baited it with soon-to-expire sushi. That should be high living for a lowly woodchuck. I thought.

Got up this morning to find a small possum in the trap. Okay, I try to be humane and relocate them. (Don’t tell the DNR, I’m sure they have rules against this, and fines, licensing requirements, background checks, multiple fees, etc.) But anyway. My process involves putting down a thick layer of newspapers in my trunk and giving him a ride in the country.

Have you read a newspaper lately? Of course not, who does anymore? Well, hereabouts our daily newspaper is small and thin, so few sheets of actual paper on the average issue you couldn’t line a canary cage with it. It took a week’s worth to protect my trunk. Loaded up Mr. Possum, and we went for a ride. My usual dumping ground… er, drop off location, is a nice, wet, wooded area on a fairly busy road. That road has been closed for weeks. We knew why, but didn’t understand why such a great length of it. So I took another direction, out into the alleged “country.”

I don’t know how many miles we drove. Turns out there’s traffic everywhere, all the time. No matter how small and obscure the little two-lane roads: traffic! And house after house after house, every twenty yards another house. No place to pull off. A few nice swampy, wooded areas—but lined with mailboxes and  mansions. I think we drove for hours. The possum got a little surly, and after a while we got hungry, so I pulled in to a restaurant for breakfast. I bought, the possum left the tip. After that I let him ride up front with me so he could enjoy the drive, stick his head out the window to feel the breeze and sniff the fresh air…

Eventually I found a back way to the “closed” road. No traffic to speak of. The usual destination was wide open and deserted, so I pulled over and let him out to check out his new digs. He decided to stay. All in all we had a pretty good time. But I kinda wish he’d slipped me a little gas money. Now I’m back home to find a woodchuck to go keep the possum company.

7 thoughts on “A Ride in the Country

  1. I know those animals! In fact, I took the story to my barn and read it to the family of woodchucks who’ve been in residence there. They enjoy a good story, and can tell the difference between the computer and a gun. They recognized Uncle Boozer, and told me that I should tell you he’s quiet as neighbors go, and you’ll come to appreciate him.
    The last possum I took for a ride hung on for dear life when I tipped the trap upside down and tried to get him out. They’re not generally my favorite except in chili, really hot chili. When I explained that to him he snarled and growled a bit, but agree to go.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I knew things were getting interesting when you said WE were getting hungry. 😉 Fun story, Mark. I remember going with my dad to drop off squirrels and chipmunks so they could bother neighbors five miles away.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Mark. We met at the Writers’ Rally this year. Thora put me onto this post; love it (and your sense of humor). Although, to be genuine, I have to share an aphorism: there is not a critter problem that can’t be solved with a frying pan and proper amounts of onion, garlic, butter, bacon fat, and salt. 🙂 Jarl


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