I was sleeping, actually sleeping, when a ruckus from my backyard woke me. Crazy animal fighting sounds -- I couldn't even begin to guess what it might be (but let me try)...perhaps a rabid chicken battling an angry llama? Just a couple of minutes and the tussle abruptly ended. I found my way back to dreamland and didn't think much of it again.
...until two days later. The kids were playing on the neighbor's trampoline (oh yes, they're in heaven having befriended little Sierra) and after cleaning up from dinner, I thought I should pop my head outdoors to be certain no one was dangling from a spring or sprawled face-down on the ground. All seemed well. I offered a little counseling, suggesting a fair division of bouncing time, then gazed across my backyard. Proud that the grass still remained reasonably manicured from my recent mow, I noticed an odd lump at the rear of the property. It was gray. Definitely not a pile of dead grass clippings, I hesitantly crossed the yard, assuming the worst. And there it was. A dead full-grown raccoon.
Now, I've disposed of my share of deceased wildlife. Charlie is essentially a paid assassin. We adopted her primarily to rid our house of rodents but she took it upon herself to deliver more than a few headless birds and bunnies, and I even dealt with another odd victim of an unlikely assailant, but this was, by far, the largest corpse I've had to remove. I returned to the house, wondering if I should call out to a manly-man (anybody know where to get one of those?), but quickly returned to girl-power mode and realized I must take care of this on my own. Though poorly thought-out, I scooted the body onto a snow shovel with a big broom and toppled it into the garbage can. YES, I KNOW. BAD IDEA. Just remember, I take lessons from all of these little (and sometimes big) missteps, so I'll likely do better next time. In my defense, I don't own a garden shovel for proper burial, and wasn't any too clever to, at the very least, toss it into a plastic bag...or two.
So today, four days since the discovery and six since the murder, is trash day. My cans await collection and I am hopeful that I won't be approached by a wildlife officer when I return from work. And next time (yes, I'm fairly certain there will be another), I'll be more prepared. I'm adding a spade to my birthday list, just in case you're wondering what to get me.