You’re in for a treat ‘cuz this is a true story!   This really happened one night in April of last year, and was written the next morning!!   Are you sure you’re ready for this?   K…here goes!!

RATING: AC (Animal Content)
(Adult Language)
(Graphic Language)
(Brief Nudity (none)
(Graphic Violence)

A rating of FINE (Funny, Interesting, Nerve-wracking, and Exciting) has been recommended by general reading audiences.  (General reading audiences recommending a rating of less than FINE obviously could not read and their recommendations have, therefore, been disregarded!)

WARNING: This material is not intended for mature audiences…the language, however, is!



Night Hunting!


Believe me, after last night, when I see that line from The Night Before Christmas that goes something like, "When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter!" I will see it in a whole new light!

Last night was one of those really great nights for sleeping!   I had all my windows open and was snuggled down under the covers all cozy and warm getting some great shuteye, when a terrible nightmare woke me up from a sound sleep a little after 5:00 AM.   Whatever it was I had been dreaming about, the terrible screeching and screaming woke me up and left me shaking.   I was wide awake for sure now, and then hark!!   I heard it again...that terrible screeching and screaming…and this time I definitely was not dreaming.

Knowing that if I got out of bed to see what it was, it would probably stop, I lay there a few minutes - listening almost in fear - because it was so loud and such a horrible  sound!   Finally, I just had to know what was going on just outside my window (yes, I know they say curiosity killed the cat, but since the cat was obviously getting killed outside my bedroom window anyway, I figured what the heck!).   I got up, careful not to step on or stumble over my three dogs, pulled back the drapes, and peered out the window.   I saw nothing but the street light outside; the screaming was still going on, however!   I slid the window screen back and stuck my head out the window.   Still I saw nothing, yet there was no pause now in the eerie screams that were surely coming from someone being murdered!

Wait!   Is that a branch of the Maple tree in my yard moving up and down?   Yep! Sure is...there goes another leaf falling on the asphalt where the tree extends over the street!   But I can't see anything!   Nothing!   Now who could be beating his wife in a tree without at least one of them falling out?   Do I run get the binoculars?   Do I run outside without a weapon?   Do I go call the police?   Do I try to intervene?   Do I just run outdoors and try to see what it is in spite of the fact that I have nothing on but my shorty "gown" covering my shapeless bod?   I think not!   Shucks!   If I dare even look up, you could probably see my fat white hind cheeks and maybe more and surely there will be others peering out their windows with all the screaming going on and probably a crowd gathering in the street soon!?   My white hinny would really give them something to stare at, huh! Besides, it will probably be all over by the time I could find them and get them out of my tree anyway and by that time I would have missed the last of it…er…by that time I probably won’t need the police!   Yeah!   That’s what I’ll do…that way, I’ll have all the "identifying information" for the police if I have to call them and I can be back in the house before the whole neighborhood starts vying for a front row seat!

Now it's quiet!   Wonder if it's over!   What's that?   Is that a cat coming down the tree and walking across my yard?   Not quite light enough yet to get a good look...looks gray...neighbor's cats are yellow!   Looks bushy…got a big tail, that’s for sure...must be part Persian...wonder who that one belongs to...must be a new one to the neighborhood, or a "traveling salesman"......doesn't will probably camp here along with the two that belong to the next door neighbor and the three across the street and before long there’ll be lots of little cats.   Figures!  Deadbeats, all of ‘em (the cats—not the neighbors)!

This is crazy...I know it wasn't a cat I heard...I've heard the neighborhood cats "serenading" enough times to know what they sound like, even at their "horniest" or in their most "territorial" fights!   Wonder what happened to the other half of this fight?   I've got to try to get a better look!   So out my bedroom door I tiptoe.

The kid's (he’s 32—years that is) bedroom door is open--he usually sleeps with it closed.   He sleeps with his windows open, too, but he sleeps like a rock so he probably hasn't heard it.   I'd love to wake him up and maybe he could go with me to see what it is.   (Heck! He would probably KNOW what it is, but by the time I wake him up it would all be over and then he would think I was totally out of my gourd in the first place;  he'll be PO'd because I woke him up and I'll have to listen to him moan and groan and complain until he completely wakes up;  then I'll have to listen to him tease the s*** out of me about it so I've got to check this out on my own!)   Surely there’s already a crowd in front of the house checking out those screams by now, too!   Is that a reflection of flashing lights from a police car already?   From the sound of those screams, this must be a real bad situation!

OH NO!  The front door is wide open!!   Is someone in the house?   Did someone kidnap the kid and that was my own kid being kidnapped that I was hearing as they dragged him kicking and screaming out of the house?   Worse yet, did someone try to steal the kid's computer and the kid caught them?   Horrors!   Perish the thought!   There go those flashing lights again!   Oh!   Now I see the flashing lights up close…they’re not flashing lights at all, but the screensaver on my own PC reflecting off the glass in the storm door.   Whew!   Scared me for a minute…get back down in my chest, ye heart or mine!   What was that damn screaming anyway?

OH MY GOODNESS!!!   There's a big red eye staring in at me through the storm door....those demons in the movies on TV always have red eyes!   I’ve seen them bunches of times when I peeped!   (What's that warm stuff running down my leg? ...can't be s***--did that last night!)   Whew! ...not a demon at the door after's the end of the kid's cigarette ...he's on the porch smoking!   I think I'm saved!   He's up and already checking it out!   Those screams were probably from the guy(s) he caught trying to break in and hurt his Mumsie! …or worse, trying to steal his gaming PC!

What say, kid?   You thought you were dreaming, too?   Wonder where the crowd is?   Is everyone in this neighborhood deaf but us?   I don't see the first soul peeping out a window or a door yet!   Heck fire!   Probably too scared!   That's just great!   Someone is getting murdered on the street and screaming their bloody head off and nobody sees it, but let a strange car sit silently in my driveway overnight and the whole street is buzzing about it by morning!

Listen!   All is quiet now!   Not a sound except the birds singing!   Birds?   How can birds sing when someone has just been murdered!   It’s morbid!  Shhhhhh….nothing…..still not another sound except the night time!   Wait!   We don't hear anything now, but…is the end of just one of those branches in the Maple tree moving.   Impossible!   Everything else is "dead" still—not another limb, not a twig, not a leaf--nothing else is moving.   There’s no wind…not even a breeze! (I can assure you of this—hence all my open windows in my bedroom!)   How can this be? Why?   Horrors!   Maybe whoever it was isn't gone yet!

The kid says, "Yep! That tree branch is definitely moving."   I head for the binoculars—the kid heads into the yard.   Eagle-eye JW (that's what I call myself) doesn't see a thing with the binoculars except leaves.   The kid on the other hand, obviously having telescopic vision since birth, believes he sees a tail hanging down off a branch!   A tail?   Really!   I suppose whoever it was left to go home and forgot to take his tail, right?   "Is it naked?"   I ask.

"Go bring me a flashlight!" the kid says!   So off  I run to find a flashlight so we can look at some ugly, bloody tail!

Found the flashlight!   Got the binoculars ready!   "Whatever it was," the kid says, "is still there...or half of it is anyway."   Uck! Half of it????   I’m just getting adjusted to the idea of a bloody tail in my Maple tree, now I’m getting a picture of this bloody dead carcass rotting in my front yard and my neighbors complaining about the stink and me having to climb the darned tree to bag it piece by bloody piece!   Uh it comes... I knew it!  (Gotcha!   Thought I was gonna’ throw up, didn’t you!)

The "here it comes" I was referring to were the dreaded words from the kid…the "Look, Mom!"   They sort of slid off the kid’s tongue like when your kid says, "Oh boy!   Night of the Living Dead is coming on TV tonight!   I gotta’ see that!   It’s great!"  and then boasts,  "I've seen it 47 times already!"   Well, it was 'that kind' of 'Look, Mom.'   "It's still moving," he just had to tell me that, right?   I mean—like I really needed to know!

Woe is me...I wanted to look in the tree when I ran in the house to get the binoculars--now I just want to run in the house and really throw up!   I'm thinking ‘what are we going to do with this thing - bloody, torn up, still alive thing - that’s hanging in my tree?   How are we going to put it out of its misery?   How long before it dies on its own?  (How long before it starts to smell?)   Do I call animal control now or after it dies?   Will I need to call a vet to pronounce it dead when it’s dead?   Should I call the SPCA?   Will any of them come?  Is the end that bites, the part that's still alive?’

Meanwhile, my bare butte is getting cold out there, my feet are getting wet, and the kid is still standing there with the flashlight saying, "Look, Mom...look at it!"   As for me, my eyes are squinched closed tight!   But he insists I look so here goes nothing....maybe he won’t be able to tell my eyes are still closed if I just pretend to look!

Can't find the bloody thing with the binoculars..."Keep the light still, kid"...oh, that's not the kid moving the light...that's my hands shaking the binoculars!

OhmyGoodness!  Didjuseethat?  Did it move?   I swear it moved!   Is the wind blowing?   Did you shake the tree?   It did it again!   Did you see it that time?   Oh, my Goodness!   It's the head...the head's still in the tree!   The eyes are looking right at me! ...and look! is that its tail hanging 'off' the other side of the tree branch?   Must be…doesn’t have eyes on that end!   Uck!   No!   Wait!   I see it! The tail is hanging 'between' the tree branches! ...and it's moving again...and not a speck of wind is blowing.   It'''s still alive...whatever it is may have been scared to death, but if that’s the case, it hasn't finished dying!   I only see a few scratches—no blood dripping or guts hanging out or anything like that…it looks'''s a baby raccoon and he's sooooo cute!   Well, I'll be damned! If that just ain't the cutest little thing up thar' in that thar' tree!   Would ‘ja jus look at that!!


So now the kid croons,  "It's okay, boy (how in the world does he know it's a boy?--the tail is covering what the branch ain't, if you know what I mean), you can come on down now."  ...and I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, but the darned thing started down!   These two idiots stood right there on the front porch watching ‘him’ and talking about ‘him’ while ‘he’ ambled right on down that tree trunk just like the kid told him to do, took one look at the kid as if to say,  "Hey! Thanks, bud!"  then trotted off across the yard and disappeared into the woods!

By now I'm wondering why in the world would a baby raccoon be making all that noise.   I was about to tell the kid, "He must have gotten all those scratches from getting hung up in the tree and trying to get down," when the kid says, "Mom, are you sure what you saw leaving the yard this morning was a cat?" to which I responded,  "I'm not positive it was a cat, no...I just figured it did have a thicker tail, but not as thick as a Persian cat and it looked gray, but come to think of it, its body was a little thicker than most cats.   Why?"

"Well, I was just wondering why a cat would tree a raccoon...could it have been another raccoon?" the kid asked?

So I said, "I'll bet that's what it was--another raccoon!   You know I was gonna’ say that!"  Yeah, right! sure I was!

Okay, by now you're probably sitting there laughing your silly head off at me, but what can I say!   How was I supposed to know two raccoons were going to climb a tree and get into a screaming match in a residential neighborhood in my front yard over territorial rights (or garbage rights?)!   Hell!   If they’re gonna’ argue about it again, they can have all the damn garbage I’ve got!   Just stop the screamin’ matches in my tree!.   I'm a country girl raised in the city...that means the only thing country about me is my heart and my wish list--WISH I lived in the country!. I’m not used to this kind of thing!   I've hardly ever seen a raccoon unless it was in the zoo or dead on the side of the road and that doesn’t leave you with much of a picture, and I doubt they make much sound when they fight a tire wheel for territorial rights!

You know...I've been thinking.... maybe I'll wait a little while longer before I put that deposit on that cute little house in the country!


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Copyright © Joyce Williams
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