Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The only good varmint...

When I was young I grew up on a farm in the northern part of Maryland. It was a large sprawling hillside of 55 acres and we had a wide variety of domestic animals - a few cows, couple of pigs, some chickens, ducks, a gray, polka dotted ugly faced fowl called a guinea (best watchdog on the planet), a few hound dogs etc. For a while I had a couple of pet raccoons that were one some of the best pets I've ever had.
Across the hillside, there was also an abundance of wildlife - foxes, pheasants, deer, squirrel, raccoon, all variety of snakes and other creepy crawlies. Even had a mink one time that was slowly and methodically ripping the throats out of our ducks and leaving them in the dirt. (My grandfather and father ended his life in a culvert pipe that ran beneath our driveway. A thin stream ran through it, and the mink ran off with a duckling in its mouth and hid in the pipe. My father stood one one side with a shotgun, my grandfather on the other with a can of gasoline. He poured a cup full in the water and lit it and as the flaming trail wound through the water, it singed the hair on the mink's ass, running him out into the embrace of buckshot. Quite a little episode for an eight year old to watch.)
Another thing that was rampant in the area were groundhogs.

What do most of you know about groundhogs? I'll bet that you think they're just plump little rats that dig holes and pop their heads up like office workers in cubicles, eh?

Heh... well, let me tell you a thing or two.

Groundhogs can also climb trees very, very well. I've seen them bite through a hound's lip like a hole punch. They can be vicious little bastards but the most horrid thing about them was told to me by my grandfather - who seriously would not make this kind o' shit up.

Sometimes in the pasture, a cow or horse or other large animal would die and be there a while before it was discovered. Fact of life, shit happens then livestock dies.
While their bodies are lying in the sun, starting to decay and getting bloated from internal gas and decomposition, sometimes a groundhog will... ahem...

let me interrupt this by saying that if you've recently eaten, you may want to visit this again on a... shall we say... lighter stomach.

...sometimes they will take up residence in the dead livestock... kind of like a squatter in an abandoned house. How, you may ask, would they do that? Well... through the back door of course.

My grandfather had discovered a dead cow once and for one reason or another, wasn't able to get to it for two days to clean it up. And when he was finally able to chain it up to a tractor in order to drag it away and bury it, a groundhog came scurrying out its ass like it was running from an angry landlord.

I happen to think this is quite a foul habit and since hearing that story, I've never liked them. Anything that will try to lease the corpse of a dead animal... well, there's gotta be something wrong with them.

And recently, behind my barn, a groundhog has taken up residence. There are many large rocks surround the hole he dug... and this is the only thing preventing me from using a pistol. The last thing I need is to have a round from a 9mm bounce back into my thigh. I considered a blowgun but they're thick-skinned bastards and I don't know if that would do the job either. So... I tried the tree hugger route first and attempted to scare him.

I jammed a length of rain spout into his hole and threw a handful of fireworks down the pipe. I heard nothing but saw a shitload of smoke billowing out. I guess he has a smal gasmask or something, because the only thing this succeeded in doing was to melt the bottom of the rain spout.

I returned with a large bucket of water which I proceeded to flood his ass.
This DID work and he rushed out of there looking less like a groundhog and more like a wet beaver (heheh... wet beaver) and hauled his ass off toward a thick meadow. He paused once, flipped me the claw, then went away.

I placed large rocks in front of his hole like I was sealing the tomb of Lazarus, and I though that was the end of it.

But just like Lazarus, he returned.

There was another unsuccessful attempt involving two more buckets of water and a samurai sword, but that only achieved odd looks and I think he said something about my mother before he ran away this time.

I haven't checked in about a week, but he'll be sorry if he returns. I've grown my arsenal and he really doesn't want to screw with what I've got in store for him now. If he does come back you'll know it.

Just look for the mushroom cloud coming from the east.

- -
coming soon...
why I know crack cocaine has become a huge problem stretching from the ghettos to the highest level of executives. hint: the Sci-Fi channel is running professional wrestling.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since when does the 'treehugger' way involve fireworks? LOL.

Just get a small little battery run radio, turn it to a hard rock station, seal it in a Ziplock, and drop it down the hole. If he/she returns it will only be to pack their little bags and leave permanently. They hate the constant, irregular noise.

Fireworks and Swords? You are going to way too much expense, My Furless Friend.

5:11 PM  

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