To The Creature In My Attic…

Young pest captured in neighbor's attic
Young pest captured in neighbor’s attic

For months, I’ve

heard your wanderings,

traced your path behind painted walls.

Clawing, scampering, scraping

noises puncture my conscious mind;

you’re stealth when others are near.

Oh, creature in my attic,

I know your game-

your clever maneuvering,

has made me question my sanity.

Stowaway visitor,

my husband discovered

the scattered evidence

of your clandestine presence.

I’m vindicated!

A months-overdue “told you so”

crosses my satisfied lips.

Soon, a baited metal cage

will, with any hope,

further prove my point.

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Inspiration:  This poem is written to whatever has been making itself at home in our attic.  For months, I’ve complained of noises in the walls only to have my husband tell me it was squirrels on the roof. Whenever I called him to hear the clawing sounds for himself, it would stop.  He’d pass me a I-think-you’ve-lost-your-mind look and head back downstairs.  (I don’t know for sure, but writing poetry to attic-dwelling animals could be a solid sign of insanity!)

Well, crazy must be contagious because the kids heard the noises, too.  And the cats began pouncing at walls (chasing noises that up until that point, the crafty creature made me suspect were only in my head.)

Finally, last weekend, my husband heard scratching/scampering and asked me, “Did you hear that?”

A small part of me wanted to say, “no” and play it off like he was nuts.  Instead, I replied, “I told you something is in the attic!”

A good “I told you so” wins every time 🙂

Sigh. Wildlife, 4; Humans, 0

Made a fool again.

White flag waved (with crossed fingers)…

Ready for next round.

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Early Monday morning we discovered the wildlife had another crazy night of partying. Somehow, they are able to keep their rabblerousing down enough that we sleep through it; however it’s obvious we were the benefactors of the animal equivalent of toilet-papering a house. I have the “trashy” pictures to prove it:

At least dirty laundry wasn't aired...
At least dirty laundry wasn’t aired…

As my older son and I scooped up garbage donning very fashionable surgical gloves, neighbors slowed to stare as they drove by. One man stopped and rolled down his window.

“Ah, the javelina got ‘ya?” he asked.

I shrugged.

“This is what the javelina do,” he said with a nod.

“Well then, I guess our trash won’t go out until I hear the garbage truck.”

I should’ve known! I bet it was that javelina that gave me “the look” after her baby finally freed itself from our garden. I feared she wasn’t done with us and I was right.

10-6 javelina-edit

Arizona Game and Fish has pretty much tied our hands, as it unlawful to injure, kill or trap them. I don’t really want to hurt them anyway, but they aren’t taking the hint that they aren’t welcome around here. Since I’m not likely to lure a pack of coyotes as pets to patrol our land, I’ll have to do more research on all the things javelina hate and start doing more of that!

Stay tuned for our next failure 🙂

(It’s hard to show confidence when our efforts thus far make Elmer Fudd look competent!)

Haiku- Wildlife, 3; Humans, 0

Our humble garden-

Fencing breached by wild piggies.

Salad dreams trampled.

Sometimes it feels like we're being watched...
Sometimes it feels like we’re being watched…

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Friday night, noises outside interrupted my blog reading. I’m pretty sure my heart missed several beats as I sat paralyzed with fear. It was late at night and everyone else was in bed, but I finally got the nerve to peek out the kitchen window to see who was on our porch.

I stared, stunned, as I counted two full-grown javelina and a baby javelina inside the fencing around our small garden in front of our patio. I woke my husband up to tell him our meager garden was going to be even paltrier by the time they finished grazing.

We stood in front of the kitchen window contemplating what to do. My husband tried cursing at them, but that wasn’t entirely effective. The two large javelina vacated the garden, leaving the baby running to and fro trying to find a way out. (I had to laugh at the “save yourself” mentality of these creatures!)

Horrified, I watched the poor thing try shoving its nose through the fencing, chewing the wire, and trampling the garden in a frantic search for an exit. I wanted to help, but I could hear the nearby snorts of the adults that didn’t run very far away. Going outside wasn’t an option.

Finally, the baby squeezed under the fencing and joined the other trespassers.   One of the larger ones approached the window and gave a long look that seemed to say, “we’ll be back.” (Only without the Arnold Schwarzenegger accent.)

Since we moved here seventeen months ago, we’ve learned that the animals really don’t care that we bought the land. We’ve tried to claim some space for our own, but so far, we’ve been outmatched (I hesitate to write “outsmarted”…. It’s a huge hit to my ego to admit that elk and javelina are smarter than us.)

Yet the facts- our lousy 0 and 3 track record – are impossible to ignore.

We need super-duper reinforced fencing!
We need super-duper reinforced fencing!

Terrible Houseguests

They fully espouse

The idea that

“My house, is yours”-

Stopping by unannounced.

They decimate your garden,

Munching vegetable leaves

Down to broken stalks-

Without even a “please.”

Used to have huge zucchini leaves...
Used to have huge zucchini leaves…

They gnaw your maple

Til it’s bare,

Half-chewed leaves

Strewn everywhere.

Our maple makes Charlie Brown's Christmas tree look "full"
Our maple makes Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree look “full”

They drop piles of “waste”,

Make tracks in mud,

In their haste,

They don’t clean up.

Elk tracks.  I won’t post photos of their waste…you’re welcome!
Elk hoofprint. I won’t post photos of their waste…you’re welcome!

Yes, elk are terrible house guests,

This, I’ve recently seen.

Their destruction the only evidence,

Of their nightly partying.

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Apparently, elk mating season is in full swing, and the menfolk like to impress the ladies with fine dining.  This winter, I’ll be working on better fencing for my garden, but I just might be engaging in a battle I cannot win.  From what I’ve read, elk are pretty much unstoppable.  Silly, naïve me, felt sure they wouldn’t get to our garden, which is right next to our front door.  Oh, boy, was I wrong!  Upon seeing the state of my garden, I was near tears.  My husband laughed.  He laughed!  He finds their antics amusing.

Perhaps I can laugh with him once I’m done mourning the loss of zucchini bread I won’t have the opportunity to bake.  Sheesh, if they could at least stick around for a photo or two, I might move past sulking more quickly 🙂  I’ll leave you with a distant memory: my garden before elk found it:

In loving memory of the zucchini plants whose lives were chewed short...
In loving memory of the zucchini plants whose lives were chewed short…

Thanks for stopping by and reading my Wednesday silliness!  May your houseguests (human or otherwise) be tidy and respectful!