Wild Things

We live in the woods. I mean, not like the Alaskan wilderness, but some pretty legit woods with wildlife, and big trees, and lost hikers who have resorted to cannibalism. Also, yetis. This bug was on our screen door one day last summer:

It is hard to get a sense of scale from this picture, but he is approximately six feet wide. That hairy neon-colored bastard clung to the screen door for two days before it soared away above the trees. And probably carried somebody’s dog with him. Also, one day when my husband was traveling (well of course he was) I went down to the basement to do the laundry and was greeted by this mother-effer, sitting right by the dryer:

I wet myself, ran screaming upstairs and did not go back to the basement for a week. My husband took that picture when the evil wolf spider (which Google says is harmless but CAN JUMP VERY FAR) re-surfaced. And no, my husband NEVER says, “Aww, look at this cute picture!” and then shows me the spider picture. Because that would be mean.

Then, just last week, I was relaxing on the couch, watching The Bachelor a thoughtful PBS analysis of the sequestration and its effect on the middle class. Suddenly the gate to our back deck creaked open and a raccoon the size of a PONY walked on to the deck and right up to the sliding door. And then he stared at me and screamed, through his foaming, rabies-infected mouth, that he was going to open that door and come in our living room and eat my feet and then take the remote and watch nature shows in high def. At least I think that’s what happened; it was hard to tell, since I immediately did a kind of handstand on the couch so that I could get my feet as far as possible off the ground.

This is exactly what he looked like, except about 80 times bigger with more foam around his extremely sharp teeth:

So, in a nutshell, I am often a little on edge about what creature is going to visit us and try to attack me next.

Wednesday during dinner, I had to run to the fridge in the garage for some milk. I was convinced that the raccoon was going to come sneaking out from behind the fridge and go for my feet again, or that he was going to drive the car at me or carbon monoxide poison me, so I was on high alert. But instead of a rabid attack on my feet I WAS ATTACKED FROM ABOVE.

No, I am NOT kidding you. Just as I opened the refrigerator door, I hear a rustling above my head and feel a slight breeze. I turn and see a flash flying though the air and immediately know it is a bat, because a bird would not be scary enough. And then I think it is probably a vampire bat because I still don’t know if those are a real thing or not, so I slam the refrigerator door, put my hands around my neck (so as to avoid vampirization) and high-knee it into the house (to avoid the rabid raccoon foot attack) and I don’t stop running until I hit a wall. My husband asks me what the hell is wrong, and I tell him SOMETHING IS IN THE GARAGE SOMETHING THAT FLIES AND SCREAMS!! He is unphased, probably because he knows that I exaggerate a wee tiny bit occassionally I am totally fine. So he goes outside, opens the garage doors, and waits for the bat to fly away. And now that he is free, the vampire bat can meet with the rabid raccoon in their coven to plan their next attack on my feet and/or sanity.

I am determined not to pass my anxiety about our neighborhood wildlife on to my kids, who love all things nature-related. So instead of telling them that mommy lost her mind because there was a bat in our garage, I tell them it was a cute little baby bat – OR MAYBE IT WAS A FAIRY. A beautiful, sparkly fairy, with little wings and a wand! Because, frankly, I would like to believe it was a fairy, and my daughter certainly wanted to believe it was a fairy, and my son always enjoys a good argument with his sister. So, win.

If that fairy gets too close to me, though, I will cut her.

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