sir, I remember it like it was May of 1999, we took this little trip to New Orleans.
Now I knew about New Orleans, that to breathe with any comfort you need gills, and the hip
waders are the dress shoes of choice. The place is below sea level so they swat
carp, not flies. I knew all that.....but what I didn't know was it's also home to
evil tempered, sour dispositioned, attack trained raccoons who have absolutely nothing
remotely resembling a sense of humor.
Yep......found that out first hand the
day we arrived. Parked under a nice big tree in a hotel parking lot and spent a
couple hours in Mother Nature's sauna bath before deciding to don my scuba gear and leave
the motorhome to go outside. We were in New Orleans for the American Maltese
Association National Specialty, and having traveled 1200 miles in a motorhome with several
Maltese, I was going to put up their exercise pens.
I managed to accomplish this task and
told my wife, Sharon, to let the dogs out, which she did. I went to the other side
of the motorhome to get a couple lawn chairs when I heard a blood curdling scream. I
ran back around the motorhome and there she was.........snarling and hissing and spitting
like some crazed beast!!! I immediately told Sharon she shouldn't be acting like
that in a public place when I noticed "her".......the raccoon........this furry
not so little beast that obviously had a huge chip on her shoulder. Calmly I told
Sharon, "I think she is upset", as the raccoon launched into an attack on the
perimeter of our pens, which now contained several frantic and barking Maltese dogs.
More screaming and hysteria from Sharon made
me realize I better do something......so I looked this angry raccoon in the eyes and
said...."go away please". She responded by hissing and spitting and
snarling and muttering something in raccoonese I couldn't make out. Well
boy....that really got me upset and now I was really getting mad. I waved the lawn
chair at the attacking beast, which had to be 8 feet long and weigh 450 pounds. As
her teeth slashed at the lawn chair webbing I was desperately wishing I had something a
little more sturdy as a weapon.... like maybe a chaise lounge or something...but
no......I was armed to the teeth with lawn chairs.
I must have been a menacing sight to the
raccoon because she suddenly turned and started back up her tree. I had already
started puffing my chest out in triumph over the conquered beast when with a roar she
charged back down the tree and did a perfect raccoon dive over the fence and into
the pens where there were still several crazed Maltese running around!! I remember
saying, "this isn't good"..... and wondering why "I" have to take care
of everything. I also made a mental note to review our marriage vows which I was
confident said nothing about fighting off attack trained raccoons.
So over the fence I went in hot pursuit of our furry invader. I
chased her for 3 miles around the pens until I finally pinned her in a corner underneath
my two trusty lawn chairs. As I was wondering what in the world I was going to do
with her now that I had her trapped......I noticed one of our older Maltese males running
up towards the raccoon and I guess the raccoon didn't like the idea of him sniffing her
butt because then she got REALLY mad!!!
This overstuffed foul tempered beast beneath my lawn chairs
began to squirm and wiggle until I knew she was going to escape....right between my legs.
As my mind raced trying to determine which part of my anatomy she was going to
bite, and silently noting which part was my LAST choice for her to bite....she passed
through my legs, bolted past ALL my anatomy, and went after the dogs! Dang
it...surely she was tired of this silly game by now..........NOT!!!
Undaunted....I raced after our unwelcome (you'd think she would have gotten the hint
by now) intruder. Lawn chairs at the hip... my scuba gear in disarray...sweat
pouring from my brow...I was undeterred.......this critter had to go.
Emitting my best impersonation of an enraged bull I stormed after her in wild
abandon!!! She should have known better than to make ME mad!!!
Well......I'll spare the grisly details of the end of this
tale...mainly because there aren't any...but she finally decided she had made her point I
guess... because she left. I swear as she went back up the tree she made an obscene
gesture to me......but I HAD WON!!!! All the Maltese were safe and sound... my
anatomy was intact and the lawn chairs were hardly scratched.
Safely back inside the motorhome we peered out the window
hoping to catch a glimpse of this refugee from the depths of hell. But she had gone
back up the tree, which I now realized was her tree...like she had it
marked with a NO TRESPASSING sign or something. If she had just asked us to move we
wouldn't have had to go through these contortions....ah well........raccoons in New
Orleans can be testy.
Anyways....as the week went on and word spread of my heroic
efforts in the face of sheer death...well sort of anyway.... the honors began to pour in.
I was awarded the First Ever Annual Hope This Never Happens Again Glad It Happened
To You And Not Me Maltese Defense Award...............a coonskin cap!!! I have
now legally changed my name to Davy Crockett, and have started a new business called
"Raccoons Away".......business is a tad slow but I'm sure it will pick up.
Then after we
return home I found out Sharon had won a prize in a contest which is a "show
quality" raccoon named "Foxstone's Lady Lawn Chair".............
ahhhh..... sometimes they just never learn.