Wednesday, December 13, 2006

'Pasta' Problems

I have major rodent issues in my life.

An opossum has taken up residence beneath our backyard deck. He terrorized me (and Ernie, our trusty 3-legged beagle) all of October. We didn't see at all in November and I thought "Great! He's moved!"

I was wrong.

Tonight while putting the children to bed, I hear Ernie making a horrible racket in the backyard. I race downstairs to call him in before he would awaken Paloma. I flip on the backyard floodlight, and lo and behold, the opossum returned.

The kicker: the thing only comes out to torture us when Cliff is not home.

So here's Ernie, 10 feet off our deck, barking wildly, circling the opossum. This is not the first time Ernie has cornered the blasted beast. The first time the opossum played dead and returned to his dwelling by sunrise. Upon discovering it playing dead, I nearly called my doctor for a Valium prescription. The second time, Ernie had cornered it in the vegetable garden where it just hissed and swatted and spat at our ferociously barking dog. In a hysterical, semi-hyperventillating state, I telephoned my husband, who got a jolly laugh out of the situation and told me, in all seriousness, to "chase it away with a broom."

Alas, it's now Ernie's third run-in. The vermin knows Ernie isn't the brightest beagle in the bunch so it just sits there, looking at our wonderdog in a mildly bored, slightly amused way. By this point in time Ernie is just about dizzy from the circling and barking. Fortunatley, I am able to lure Ernie in with dog biscuits, and I now have him safely quarantined from the back patio door for the night.

I can't believe this has happened again. As Atticus will gladly tell you, "My mom saw the 'pasta' and nearly died."

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