Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Plan For The PORKY

We live in deep, spruce woods. Porcupines are frequently a problem. They have denned under our house and eaten stored furniture; they have pooped foul mountains. As if that isn’t horrific enough, our dog loves a mouth full of quills. He can’t get enough of it, no matter what it costs him. It’s cost  us plenty in extractions and repairs at the veterinarian. A few years ago, we had a tribe of them move in on us. At night, they climbed into the few oak trees too feed on acorns. They chewed off the end branches, then went for the acorns that fell to the ground. We could hear them squealing, yowling and scuffling around. Falling acorns striking the roofs of our vehicles sounded like gunfire! We had a problem we would have to contend with. Shooting them was obviously necessary. We borrowed a friend’s shotgun which stood in the front hall, loaded for a couple of weeks. Neither of us could bring ourselves to pull the trigger. Then one night, we had been at a party and came home late. Shortly after we went to bed, the acorn missiles started coming in. Bam, bam, bam! We got up to see who was firing at us. From the safety of the front door, David turned on the exterior lights -there they were six baby porcupines. David looked at the shotgun and groaned, “What the hell are we going to do now?” “If we shot the parents last year, we wouldn’t be in such a mess now.” At the party, I had a few Martinis and was now in the mood to take action against the wildlife hoards. “Not to worry, dear” said I. “I’ve got a plan.” David peered at me with deep suspicion and nervously asked “What are you going to do?” Keep in mind that we don’t sleep with any clothes on (I know, I know - TMI), so this conversation was being had while naked. “Don’t you worry, Davie. I’m going to take care of them now. You just stand there and wait.” With that, I ran barefoot and naked with hair flying, arms flailing and screaming into the yard. Forgetting about the crushed rock driveway, I was suddenly prancing and yiping my way to the porcupines. I screamed and hollered, but they did not move. All of a sudden, I was standing bare-assed in the midst of a herd of porcupines. “Go away!” I commanded. I figured, as with dogs and horses, never let them see your fear. Still, they did not move. Naked in the midst of porcupines is about as vulnerable as a girl can feel. But, I had to save face. I turned back to the house. I walked calmly, slapping my hands together as if I had neatly dispatched them all. David’s mouth was agape. “You’re crazy! And look! They’re still there! They didn’t move an inch!” I told him not to worry, that I had taken care of them and they would not be back. Low voiced, he muttered something about nuts as we went to bed. The following day, an adult porky was dead at the head of our driveway. Some will tell you a car hit it. I say it ran away from me, had a heart attack and died. They never came back. And not a shot was fired. I’m sure that tales of horror were told around porky campfires about the mad woman with wild hair and flailing breasts. It was so successful that I thought I’d market my services to the community. I could hear the late, great pitchman Billy Mays hollering, “Varmint Control- Twenty-five dollars- Middle aged woman will run naked and screaming in your yard! Results guaranteed!”

(The little one in these photos was seen yesterday across the road from us. It was lying around on the branches of these locust trees and nibbling the leaves)


  1. We have porky's over hear, tell david to put you in the car and
    come scare ours....my hair is not long enough yet!

  2. Call me when they are there and I'll come streaking over. I take payment in Martinis.

  3. You MUST -- repeat MUST -- teach David how to use the camera (in this case a video camera would be better), so the next time you go flailing, naked, in the yard amidst porcupines, we can all enjoy the spectacle while choking on our guffaws.....

  4. Well, Ted SOMEBODY has got to do the dirty work. RRR

  5. You are too much!

    Reminds me the time a possum got into our house in middle of the night. I chased it out with a broom and only a pair of work boots on.

  6. I hope someone made YOU a Martini for your work!

  7. Hi Robin, this one deserves an email blast so never fear, this tail, opps tale, will be told by more than the porkys. You are the best, Becky

  8. You know, I believe you, because I had a similar experience. Once, and
    only once, we had a porcupine in our very built up neighborhood in
    Michigan. I had a vegetable garden on our extra lot. I went out to find
    a porcupine in an ash tree right beside the garden. So I gave him a
    long lecture: You are going to come down and leave the garden and never
    come back. Get that? You are to climb down and LEAVE. I said this in a
    firm voice, not shouting, just explaining the facts. Then I left. He
    came down and left and never came back.

    We had a porcupine here when we arrived--he lived in our 150 year old
    pear tree and he liked to eat the tips of the branches at the top. He
    didn't like the dog and left and swore at us every night from the woods.
    He came back every fall for apples and every spring for a few more
    tips.He died an apparently natural death, but an offspring now goes
    through the same routine. No spectacular damage yet, and they haven't
    holed up under the barn or done any other damage. But I am wary. when
    they do come for the apples they sound like a child being tortured--this
    awful whiney noise. It brought new neighbors down from the hill in
    their nightclothes to see what was going on. I shone the flashlight on
    his bright orange teeth to prove to them that murder was not in progress
    down here.

  9. Now that is FUNNY! But the Porkies are sooo cute! Particularly when they are in "your" yard!

  10. Well, that was very sweet and how appropriate the empty nest syndrome emerging at exactly the right moment. I was close to tears with your images of the couch, the message board and the answering machine. There's not a mother out there with kids that age that doesn't relate.

  11. Oh ya, this guy could certainly score in the top ten for a NIMBY award! RRR

  12. Do you hire out for coons? I pay in alcohol and good food.

    (psssst! Everyone else! Pssst! I have video capabilities!)

  13. For payment in Martinis, your roasted chicken and smashed potatoes, I'll deal with anything that annoys you - coons, bears, skunks, gob'mint agents and religion peddlers.