In the animal control business, you get to hear a lot of great stories. Humans and animals coexisting on the same little blue marble of a planet makes for some funny tales, especially if you add some baseball in there…
A call came in after hours one spring night: apparently there was a raccoon that had gotten into someone’s home and had been causing trouble for some time. The gentleman on the phone asked if someone could please come out to trap the raccoon because it kept stealing the food from his kitchen. This is where our technician, John*, enters the story.
“It was getting pretty dark when I got to the house. It was an older home, kind of small. The guy must have been watching out his window for my truck because before I could get halfway up the stairs, he throws open the front door wearing nothing but a white t-shirt, boxer shorts and some socks,” says John. “He had to have been in his late 70s at least. But he looked super excited that I was there.”
The elderly gentleman emphatically waved one hand at John to hurry up. John couldn’t help but notice that Mr. Smythe* was clenching a baseball bat in his other hand.
“He kept telling me to shush, that I’d scare the raccoon away, but I was getting a little nervous about that baseball bat even though he seemed like a sweet, older guy,” John laughed remembering that night.
Mr. Smythe had John follow him into the old-fashioned kitchen, and then turned into an old butler’s pantry where he pointed to a large hole in the ceiling above some shelves.
“That’s where he’s gettin’ in, kid. He keeps stealin’ my favorite crackers, but this time, I’m ready for him!” Mr. Smythe raised the baseball bat in the air.
“I told him to hold off on using the bat, that I would first try to look around on the outside to see where the raccoon was coming in from. I then went outside to start looking for entryways. I wasn’t outside for two minutes before I heard Mr. Smythe yelling my name, ‘I got him! Get in here! I got him now!’ I heard stuff crashing and banging. I ran inside and Mr. Smythe’s house is a wreck, broken stuff everywhere! He’s holding up his bat and has the raccoon trapped in the corner of the living room. It’s holding a bag of crackers in its hands! He goes to swing his bat. The raccoon drops the crackers, runs through his legs, back into the kitchen and up the hole in the wall!” laughs John.
John eventually caught the raccoon and helped Mr. Smythe close the hole in his pantry. As a parting gift and a thank you for using our services, John bought Mr. Smythe a new bag of crackers. He did not, however, encourage Mr. Smythe to go out for the local Senior Citizens Softball League.
(*all names have been changed to protect the anonymity of both technician and customer)