I opened our front door this afternoon to see if the mail carrier had left a package for me. I came face-to-face with the biggest critter I've seen in our yard since we moved in--not counting the deer. This grayish-brown critter sat and stared at me for what seemed like an eternity. Then he (or she) scurried UNDER the concrete slab that is at our front entry. OH MY MERCIFUL HEAVENS! I slammed the front door and told the boys not to open it. A few minutes later, I opened the door a crack. The critter was in the hole with his head poking out. I tried to coax it out while standing behind the closed and LOCKED storm door (just in case he's some kind of highly evolved critter). He taunted me with his beady little eyes. Nose twitching in a critterly fashion. He was laughing at me, I know it!
Armed with my cell phone and the phone book, I started making calls to rid myself of this evil monster. I called our pest control service first.
"Do you have any live traps to catch a huge badger/beaver/raccoon-without-the-mask/over-sized critter?" I asked.
"No, ma'am, we don't handle anything like that. Mice, moles, rats, we can do. Let me give you a number to call."
I call the number she gives me and discover that to catch this creature, which the man assures me is a harmless groundhog, will cost me $100 with no guarantee he'll be successful. Okay. I told the man I'll think about it and call back.
I then spent the next half hour calling my husband to tell him not to come in the front door when he gets home from work (Why? Because I don't want the over-sized groundhog to eat him.), and the neighbors in search of a live trap.
The last neighbor I called told me her son and husband had seen the critter and he was indeed a groundhog. Uh huh. And they saw him going under my house. Sigh. And no, they didn't have a live trap.
As a last and most brilliant resort, I phoned the conservation center in our area. No, they don't take care of things like that, "but call your area's conservationist". Okay, I thought I just did. I phoned the conservationist for our area and left a voicemail.
Tomorrow I'll make a call to a friend and hopefully her husband, whom I recently discovered has an interest in live capture and release of animals will be able to offer some advice, traps, help.
In the meantime, the huge badger/beaver/raccoon-without-the-mask/over-sized critter is taunting me through the storm door, laughing and telling his critter friends all about his reign of terror.
To be continued.......