Living in the city, one forgets how many creatures exist outside our patio doors. Oh sure, there are the squirrels, the raccoons, the occasional skunk. But none of these city critters stack up to the country monsters that go "Rrrrrr" at you in the night.
My dog wolfed down a rather sizable raw pork roast a few weeks ago. It was one of those nasty stuffed concoctions, filled with lard and seasonings galore, hand-picked by my father, who was visiting for the day. I'd set it in the sink to thaw while we frolicked at the beach, forgetting about Neko's ability to liberate food off counter tops. You can imagine my dismay at discovering a slimy trail of raw pork across the floor and no supper in the draining board. At least Neko had the class to drag the roast into the dining room to devour it.
I figured I'd be getting up with her at 3 a.m. when the raw pork began to take effect on her system and she didn't disappoint me. I heard the panicked scritch scritch of her claws on the screen door and, clumbsy with sleep, got myself out of bed, into a robe and down the stairs to let her out.
The stars twinkled at us as we walked down the path towards the garage - Neko yanking on the leash with a desperate look in her eye, me stumbling after her wishing I'd thought to put on my glasses. As my dog made her way to the hallowed pooping ground to do her dirty business, I stood and listened to the wind in the trees, the distant rush of waves, the crickets. It was kind of nice.
That is, it was nice until I heard SOMETHING say "rrrrrrrrr" from over by the chestnut tree. Neko froze in mid-poo. The hair on the back of my neck stood up, something I thought only happened in books. I squinted, trying to figure out what kind of creature the SOMETHING was. Maybe it was an angry squirrel. Or a baby raccoon. I took a step closer. The SOMETHING said "rrrrrRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!", the bushes rustled and I tore up the walkway, dragging poor Neko behind me. That was no freaking raccoon!
Now, I don't consider myself to be a fraidy cat. But when things make noises at me in the middle of the night from my very own yard, I have to draw the line somewhere. We've heard coyotes howl pretty darned close to the barns, and there was a recent bear sighting in Tiverton, so who knows what evil lurks in the fields of Someday Farm? I wasn't about to find out for myself. So I woke up my husband.
To his credit, he didn't make fun of me or moan about getting up at 3:15 a.m. He gamely stumbled down the stairs (looking very manly in his Big Bill work pants with crocs and no shirt), grabbed his trusty flashlight and went in the direction of my pointing. D made it about 3 steps onto the lawn when the SOMETHING said, "RRRRRRRRR? RRRRRRRR!! RRRRRRRRR!!!" That was enough to send my brave husband scuttling back to the safety of our porch to admit he didn't know what it was, and he wasn't about to find out.
We never did find out what the SOMETHING was. All I know is that it was mightily displeased at having its territory invaded, and it had a helluva set of lungs on it. Sharing our space with things that go bump in the night is going to take some getting used to. But I'll take noisy critters in the country to sirens and buses and drunken idiots on the road in the city any day.