In this story, there will be blood…lots of blood.
Some of which I caused.
Think Princess Bride meets the Sopranos.
The theme of the story may be somewhat outside the general genre of global adventure humor, which is my
purported expertise, but my adventure last night with a vicious forest animal seemed worth telling, at least I thought so when it happened.
We are the adoptive parents of a runt-sized rescue dog, a reddish Queensland heeler named Foxley.
At 3:30 a.m., which is either in the middle of the night or very early in the morning, depending on your own circadian rhythm, we were awoken by Foxley barking at a seemingly higher than typical level of urgency.
As the manly-man of the house (albeit neutered…just like Foxley), I grabbed my weapon-grade Maglite® flashlight and personal defense-sized canister of pepper spray and stealthily walked down the stairs in my normal sleepy-time bed apparel.
When I got downstairs, I found Foxley nervously poised at the door, anxious to be let out. As I slowly opened the door, he flew out at warp speed as soon as he could squeeze through, and charged towards the barns outside the back fence.
As a general manner of behavior, this was not totally out of character for our dog, as we are part-time adoptive parents of a feral cat that Foxley insists on tormenting. Foxley’s usual routine is to run back and forth along the fence, yapping, until he is convinced he has impressed the cat with his opinion of who is the favored four-legged adopted family member, upon which he returns proudly to the back door to be let in and to resume his slumber, satisfied of his stature.
But, a brief glance out of the window revealed that I could not passover the fact that this night was different than all other nights.
On the ground was an animal almost as large as our dog, with a long mouth full of razor-sharp teeth and a long thick tail, sprawled out on the ground in a small pool of blood.
This was definitely a Rodent Of Unusual Size.
Leaving the carcass there—bleeding all over our backyard patio—for my wife to clean up, come daylight, was never really an option. So I ventured back up the stairs to put on some pants, as I needed to go outside and find a shovel to affect disposal procedures.
Things got interesting when I walked out the door to find the ROUS to be sitting up, bleeding from its head and looking dazed and confused.
Apparently, he had just been playing possum.
In other words…it was (still) ALIVE!
So my task of body removal all of a sudden became one of humanitarian euthanasia.
I did not have a gun at hand, which probably would have resulted in my neighbor calling 9-1-1 upon hearing gunshots in the middle of the night (or was it very early in the morning?) and likely would have caused a massive mess of blood and guts, as well as severe spalling of the concrete walkway.
The answer as to how to complete a very nasty chore was actually right in my hand, that being the shovel.
What I did not fully grasp was the physical strength and stamina that nature has bestowed on Rodents Of Unusual Size so as they might survive in the wild. All I can say is that the resultant mortal combat left the sidewalk looking for all purposes that someone had recently butchered a cow.
Princess Bride meets the Sopranos, indeed.
Full disclosure: while I would like to state that no animals were harmed in the making of this story, the ultimate harming of a poor, unfortunate wild animal WAS the story.
But, it is inconceivable that Farm Boy Westly or Dread Pirate Roberts would have done anything less.