My curtained sleep provides the creatures of the night free range for all manner of comings and goings. Small festive gatherings of much rejoicing and regaling as fuzzy butts dance and twirl and feast. They laugh and mock the stupid giant hairless ape inside that cave-thing as he snorts and farts. His slumber filled with naive and peaceful dreams. For these night beasts know what the stupid ape-thing will discover in the morning. That tonight is for them.
Tonight they will feast.
My fish had dreams as well. They dreamed of crunchy bits floating on the waters surface, jostling about from the steady cascade of well manicured waterfalls. They dreamed about the next days activities. Like, “let’s all go swim over there now. I think there may be a crunchy bit over there that we missed when we were there five minutes ago”.
I’ve once been told by an old wizened sailor that fish never truly sleep; that they always keep moving. That sailor was eaten by a shark and is now shark poop. Should’ve heeded his own advice that dark and stormy night off of the Southern coast of Africa. So it goes.
Regardless of Old Stumpy McStinktrout and his unfortunate skinny dipping episode, these fish had dreams! And now they are poop. The poop of the night beasts. So it goes.
I find myself extremely torn when it comes to varmints. I absolutely adore raccoons and skunks and opossums. They’re adorable, fuzzy and super intelligent. Well, at least raccoons are intelligent. I’ve even made myself into a fuzzy cute raccoon for Mind Your Dirt not too long ago.
So when it comes to visitations of totally adorable and dexterous fuzzy-butts, I am both excited and horrified. I’m excited because my little desert oasis has once again proven to bring in critters of all shapes and sizes. It’s becoming a rich and fertile ecosystem smack dab in the middle of the hood. I am also horrified. Horrified because my poor little chickens are all alone and sleeping in the cool dark night. And varmints are really efficient when it comes to wiping out entire flocks in a manner of moments.
Above all my warm fuzzies and Noah’s ark-like acceptance of all creatures great and small, I MUST protect my flock! It is my duty as an urban farmer. Especially little Piper. She provides nothing of any worth but is revered beyond all my little fluffballs. She is also the most Muppet-like.
Raccoons are known for their dexterous little nimble hands and their cleverness. My coop is not designed to withstand a raccoon attack. I simply didn’t think I’d be getting any in my yard because of my location. Smack dab in the middle of a very urban neighborhood and completely surrounded by all manner of large mean-looking dogs and haggard yet scrappy feral cats. So I built my coop according to my environment. And have regretted it ever since. For here thar be fuzzy-butts!
My first attack was about two years ago. A rather large raccoon was caught shoulder deep in my mini-pond gorging on my fish. Between Sasha the wonder pup and myself, we were able to gently scare her away. I say her because it was fairly obvious that she was pregnant. Although, as a man, I’ll never say to a lady, “congrats, when are you due?”. I know better than that. But just between you and I, she was a bit plump.
She did manage to clean out about a dozen of my goldfish and made a hell of a mess with the rocks and plants in and around the waterfall. A waterfall that has given me endless amounts of frustration and chores in it’s lifetime. Here are a few:
Talk about adding insult to injury! After a few weeks, I decided it was safe to get some more fish and that this visit from the fat furry-butt was simply a fluke. So I did. And it wasn’t a fluke. About six months later, I got hit again. And once again, the chickens remained unscathed but the goldfish were completely wiped out. And a turtle.
All things considered, it could’ve been a whole lot worse. While I’m very grateful that the chickens are still alive, I’m getting a little tired of my pond being destroyed and my goldfish and slimy critters decimated. I need those goldfish to eat any mosquito larvae. That’s their one job apart from chasing crunchy bits.
Then, the other night, after about six months of nothing, I was hit again. And hard! This time they ate about 40 fish, three tadpoles and one just formed frog. All in a matter of 30 minutes. I know the exact time spent because I’ve since installed several motion cameras all around my property to alert me of any unsavory activity. Be it man or beast.
The good news is that the attack was well documented and recorded. The bad news is that my fans and air conditioner assured that I remained sound asleep during the whole affair. Sasha the wonder pup was the savior this time. 30 minutes too late though.
The following morning I reviewed the footage captured in the form of still shots and have created a rather poor and dull video of all the events which reads more like a Bigfoot sighting than a sophisticated security camera capture. Hold on and I’ll add some dramatic music to spice it up a bit as well as some dramatization for your enjoyment. Here it is for your consideration:
Little cute and totes adorbs fuzzy-butted bastards! It’s only a matter of time before they realize that there are yummy chicken heads to munch off not more than ten feet away! I need to get this 30 minute gap shaved down to 30 seconds ASAP. And I do have a plan of attack! It involves the addition of my new security team of guinea fowl!
When these babies are all grown up, they’ll be moved into a new coop that I’ve built (more on that later) and will be on watch for any more nightly visitors. They will make an alarm call that Sasha (and the rest of the block) should be able to hear and I will train her to respond to the call with great fervor and intensity. It’s a perfect plan! What could possibly go wrong?
Prepare yourselves night beasts! Your poop will have to be made elsewhere!