My sister was headed into town the other night and asked if I wanted to meet them for dinner. I was on my way back from dropping Flash at the airport and thought company might not be a bad idea.
No sooner had they arrived and George was planted in the booth next to me that this story started spilling out of the boy. It turns out he spied a gimpy racoon on the road in front of their house the other night and had pointed it out to Bear. Bear figured out it was a racoon half stuck in a trap, trying to get to the woods (more than likely to die in privacy). Taking it upon himself to ease the suffering of the poor animal, he and George searched out a large rock, konked the animal on the head and then removed it from the trap. Being nice and all.
Already I was ruling out ribs, steak and even a burger for dinner.
George was delighted with this chance encounter with the dying racoon. My sister began describing the "manginess" of the animal and Birdy simply turned her head away, disgusted once more to have to live with such gruesome events around her.
I survived that story (and even managed to somewhat enjoy my chicken caesar salad) that night, but the story was yet to be over.
I was watching the kids and some additional youngsters the other day at my sister's house and they were out playing in the sprinklers. At one point, George headed to the barn to get a broom for me to sweep off the deck and comes back commenting on how bad it smells over by the barn. I had barely even glanced in that direction when George loudly proclaims with relief, "Oh, yeah! It's the dead racoon that's in the trash!" As if that's what anyone would do with a dead racoon. Apparently the thought was throwing it in the woods in their backyard would just cause it to smell in the heat. There's logic there, I think. You might have to really look hard to find it.
In any case, my sister calls me this morning and is talking about how Bear had left the trash can down at the street and how she went to get it last night and found it was covered in maggots. Let me say that again, covered in maggots. I was immediately thinking of a hundred reasons I had to get off the phone just then, but if you know anything about my sister, you know she's darn hard to end a phone conversation with.
She went on. She said it was hard to even find a place to put her hand to drag the trash bin back up to the house because there were so many maggots. Maggots, people.
She brought the trash can up to the house, got the hose out and sprayed the can down with the highest pressure she could and then sprayed the maggots on the ground with Seven so they would die. She had the wherewithall AND the foresight to not just spray them down (as I might have done, albeit screaming and running around like a grossed-out chicken) but to then kill them as well.
"But the minute I turned around, the trash can was covered again with the maggots," she said. This went on for quite awhile apparently.
I have no idea how this story ends. I had to get off the phone and I had to shiver and make ugly faces and then sing "Jesus Loves Me" six times over in the car to just get the image of maggots out of my head. Even then, I think it was easily two in the afternoon before I put my hand down on anything before checking for maggots first.
I do love the idea of living outside of town at some point in my life, but if that means I'm going to have to deal with killing half dead wildlife and throwing carcasses in my trash only to then deal with maggots, you can safely count me out of that plan.