The other afternoon, as I was preparing to head for a day at the lake, my neighbor across the street from my driveway hollered over to me.
"Hey! I tried bangin' on your door last night 'cuz you had TWENTY raccoons in your yard!"
She went on to tell me that she had come home from church, and as she was getting out of the car, her husband yelled at her to get back in. She asked him why, and he told her there were raccoons. She thought he'd had too much to drink (as is his custom in the evenings, while he sits on the porch watching everyone) and started to get out again. But the neighbor in the house next to them also hollered over for her to stay put. And sure enough, there were two sitting in front of the car.
Her friend started flipping the headlights, but the raccoons didn't move.
Now, this is the part where a couple of details start to get a little fuzzy, because I frequently have difficulty following her train of thought, and as a result sometimes end up with misinformation.
Supposedly, as the evening wore on, the various neighbors all around me noticed numerous raccoons in the yard. Was it really 20? I honestly have no idea, because 20 to her could be five or thirty.
Eventually, she called Animal Control, who came out because she was the fourth phone call of the night. The way she describes it, he just kinda sat there scratching his head as numerous raccoons were running around stealing my corn and other food, hiding behind my neighbor's bushes, and into the garage on the other side of mine. And then he said something along the lines of they wouldn't do anything unless we wanted to pay to rent cages and then they would come and pick them up.
I'm a little miffed about that whole bit.
Apparently, there is a whole family of raccoons that is living behind the garage of the house across the street, because her landlord has been dumping wood back there, thus creating a haven. Having a ready-made food source across the street (i.e. my garden) hasn't been helping matters. And, apparently, I am not the only one who has been suffering losses.
I've been wary coming home at night, now, because I don't want to run into any raccoons. And if I let the dogs out at night, I am now sitting right out there with them, because I don't want them to tangle with a raccoon, either.
This morning, I got up to let the boys out, and the neighbor started hollering at me again. This time she was mad because they had been dragging the corn stalks around and left a couple of pieces in her yard. She started telling me that I needed to put up a fence.
Ok, 1 -- I don't have the money, the time, nor the ability to do such a thing.
2 -- At this late point in the season, I almost don't care anymore.
3 -- They know how to climb -- they climb trees -- and I don't think the kind of fence that I can get away with putting up (without going through the hell of trying to order permits and having one built for me, which is ridiculous on such a small plot as the garden is) is really going to deter the little beasts.
So, lesson learned is that I will have to look into trying to put up some kind of a fence next year. Or, I just can't grow corn, after all, in my neighborhood. I'm highly disappointed, because I have been waiting all summer to sink my teeth into some fresh corn on the cob. And I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, so it's making me just a little bit crankier than usual. :-)