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this is what you shall do:

Monday, June 21, 2004

Plan "B"

The carnage wasn't nearly as bad as expected. We come out from behind the cardboard refrigerator box that we used as a makeshift shield. I grabbed an old golf club and we walked over to the overturned wash bucket. We heard the crash. The raccoon had to be trapped this time - we had been trying to catch the 'coon all day. For the last month it had been rummaging through the trash out back, promptly at a quarter to four each morning. Today, that 'coon was going to pay the price. Me and Pete, we fixed up this trap out behind the garage - an old up-turned wash bucket with an old piece of fence propping it up. Some baling twine was tied and threaded through our site hole in the refrigerator box. Pete suggested we use peanut butter to lure the critter in. Pete knows about these kinds of things. Once, last fall, he caught a skunk in a trashcan on the way to school. He got in a lot of trouble for brining it in to class but besides, on this there was no debate. If Pete said the situation called for peanut butter, then peanut butter it was. We never thought past the next step. What do you do with a trapped 'coon behind the garage. From the sounds of things it was pretty mad. Pete offered nothing. "This is a different situation entirely," he said. Tommy the little kid from across the alley came out from behind the neighbor's dumpster. "Are ya going to kill it." Me and Pete looked at each other. I was positive we weren't but I needed Pete's reassurance. Pete's eyes were as big as pancakes as he just looked down at the basin. It was starting to move across the floor, scraping along as the caged animal inside hissed and growled. "No, Tommy, we aren't gonna kill it." "But what are ya gonna do?" Just then the whole trap - washbasin, fence post, baling twine and the cardboard blind made a run for the alley. No time to think, Pete shouted: "Let's go, its getting away!" Traipsing along down the alley after it, I got embarrassed at the noise. "Maybe we should just let it go." "No way, man. We have worked too hard now," Pete shouted. He reached for the string and pulled, hoping to halt the washbasin in its tracks. Contrary to our best calculations, this was a bad plan. The string went tight and lifted the bucket up on end just as the raccoon had worked his way up to Mr. Richardson's back garden wall. All them stories that you hear about madder than a mad raccoon, well, they're true. That bucket opened up on its end and there we were: Sammy Clint all of 9-years-old; Pete McKinney, 9-½ years old; and Timmy, 6. Starring down the raccoon, the bane of the neighborhood's morning sleep all summer. I screamed. Like a little damned girl, I screamed and looked over at Pete. He was pale and shook up pretty good. Timmy was laughing. He took the fence post and starting wagging at the old raccoon and soon it was running down the alley. "Christ, Timmy, we had been working on catching that thing all morning." Laughing, Timmy just ran back home, carrying that fence post with him. "Maybe we should switch to salami," Pete suggested. And back to the garage we headed. Broken but not down. That 'coon's days are numbered. Just something I messed with instead of the real work today -- R-Dub