On Tonight: KILLERS, at 10/9 Central

The birthday of our great nation saw me relaxing for a few hours on the patio, enjoying the sun and reading a book. It was awesome like you can't imagine. And then life at the Rocking Pony household resumed as normal.

As I was in the house choosing a book to read, Micah tossed a dog into the pond. This has been an ongoing problem and one that I just can't break the boy of. We've tried everything, trust me. I'm thinking of renaming him The Boy Who Grew Up With The Timeout Chair Stuck To His Backside. It would be appropriate. So after a punishment was administered and the dog fished out (not necessarily in that order) I sat by the pond to read.

Two minutes into my book I saw a floating fish. Poor thing. From the looks of it, it got snagged by a dog's toenail while she was thrashing around to get out. I scooped it out of the pond and continued with my book. One doesn't cry over dead fish, especially when you've paid twenty cents for them and only had them a day.

Thirty minutes into my book I smelled a distinct fishy smell. Gosh, how could the pond be that imbalanced? I have plants, and fish, and a pump, and try to keep things fairly maintained. But there's no mistaking that smell. I glanced over at the pond and saw the horror. Floating fish parts. Lots of them. Apparently when the dog was trying to get out she bumped the filter off the pump, which sucked in seven of our ten fish, mangled them up, and spit them out. The carnage was great. I turned off the pump, skimmed the pond several times, cleaned things up, and put things back together.


An hour into my book the new dog that can't be trusted to be loose without running off and is tied under the trees in the shade above the pond started barking furiously, looking in my direction. (How's that for a huge run-on sentence?) I thought the other dogs were playing in the yard behind me and she wanted to join in, so I turned around to look. Nothing. The dog continued to insist that something was there, and very worthy of her full attention. I got up and turned around.

A groundhog was walking through the yard, over my mulched flower beds, and headed straight for my chair on the patio. In broad daylight. If you know anything about nature at all, you know that that kind of behavior is unnatural. I screamed like a girl and yelled for a gun. This alerted the other dogs to come running, who motivated the groundhog to waddle faster right onto the patio and walk into the open door of our grill bottom. Unnatural just took a turn for the freaky.

I screamed for a gun. Again. And closed the grill door, trapping the beast inside. It didn't try to get out. Weirder.

We set up a chute for the animal to herd it out into the yard so that I had a clear shot without hitting animals, buildings or a propane tank and opened the grill door. It was quite the ordeal getting it into the yard, and when it hit grass it stopped dead. Perfect. I shot it. I won't tell you that I pointed and clicked three times because apparently when the gun's safety latch says "S" it's on safe, not firing mode. And this groundhog sat there in the lawn just waiting for something to happen the whole time. Eventually something did happen and the groundhog is no more.

I am 94.3% sure that it was in the early stages of rabies, and now I'm terrified. While it wasn't a baby, it wasn't full grown either. This means that it has siblings and parents nearby who could all be infected as well. We play outdoors all the time. And we have dogs, horses and a goat that live outdoors 24/7. I will probably walk around the yard with a loaded firearm at my side for a while after this.

And yes, animals were harmed in the making of this blog post. I feel for the fish, but have no regrets for the groundhog.


Anonymous said...

Holy crud, Momma! Life is really and truly never boring at your house! I would be freaked out about the groundhog as well . . . can you turn it into the authorities to have it necropsied and find out if it was infected?

Karen said...

We put it in the outdoor furnace before we thought to have it tested. That was really dumb of us.

Michelle said...

Oh that's no fun at all. Do they test animals like that around you, or is rabies too common for them to "worry" about it? So glad no one was harmed and YEAH that's not natural. Eek.

Poor fishies :)

Karen Deborah said...

get another one and have it tested.

the planet of janet said...

oh. ew.

ew. ew ew ew ew ew ew.

ok. i'm done.

no. wait. i'm not. EW.

Trisha said...

Oh my! Those poor fish! I guess it is time to dig out another dollar and by some more!

As for the groundhog - definitely weird!

HalfAsstic.com said...

Oh SHIT, Karen! Too scary! Maybe you should call animal control. I bet they would want to test it for rabies. Maybe? Sheeeeet!

The Sports Mama said...

Couple of things here....

First, HI! It's me! I didn't wander off into the nothingness and die. :)

Second, LOVE LOVE LOVE that shot of Becky and Micah!

Third, I'm now picturing your pond as some sort of strange and wacky chum bucket. Not good.

Last, I've got a pretty good visual of you walking around armed and dangerous.... Charlie's Angels style.... :)

(okay, so it was more than a couple....)

Roger said...

Remind me to not show signs of weirdness around you. ;)

Yeah, I would suspect that the groundhog is in a better place now, rather than living with and going completely bat-shit crazy from rabies. I only suspect that last part because of some book I read... :)

Can we party for birthday 235 next year?

Debbie @ Three Weddings said...

I think you're just trying to compete with the fishtank of horrors over at Burgh Baby.

As for the groundhog. Scary.

caramama said...

Woah! Now that is living life in the country. Sounds like the stories my in laws tell.

Any chance the groundhog was sick with something besides rabies? I hope it was something else, but you can't be too careful. Yikes!