Things that go ‘scrabble’ in the night

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Home time is always busy. People have a hard time understanding why you’ve been away for weeks at a time and don’t come home to have parties and socialize. More than one friend has gotten their feelings hurt when we were home and didn’t take the opportunity to see everyone. It’s really hard to balance the time we need to take care of our old farmhouse and everything else in life that’s on hold while we’re away.

We’ve had an extended break this time — it’s the time of year where we have to plug up all the holes in the house and make ready to battle the elements for the winter. Between helping my dad remodel a bathroom and cleaning out the barn, I haven’t seen George much since we’ve been home. He spends the day doing whatever it is guys do, and I spend the day in my office, pretending to be incredibly busy while I watch the squirrels play in the yard. (Did I just say that out loud? Yes, you did. –ed.)

Yesterday, while I was incredibly busy in the office, I noticed the dogs pacing and whining downstairs. (Let me insert here that the dogs are cumulatively 1,000 years old in dog years and one of them is almost completely deaf. When they’re on high alert, there’s either someone slapping them on the back of the head, or something is really loud.) I let them out, since this (and food) are the only reasons either of them leave their dog beds. As soon as I shut the door, I heard what they were upset about.

There was a scrabbling noise in the wall. And by scrabbling noise, I mean something with razor sharp claws and 14,000 teeth was attempting to plow through the drywall to eat my face off. I spent the next half-hour feeling the wall, trying to figure out where it was so I could shoot it. I terrified myself by feeling the vibrations of the clawing from my side of the wall. I estimated the animal to be about seven feet long and weigh somewhere between 800 to 1,000 pounds. I was going to need heavy fire power for this beast. Wall be damned.

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By the time I let the dogs back in, the noise had stopped. The beast obviously heard me loading the .9mm, shotgun and Mosin-Nagant and had retreated to the hell it came from. Needless to say, I was already on high alert, and unlike the dogs, any tiny sound propelled me into action. I was going to defend the damn house if I had to shoot the wall out. I spent the remainder of the day incredibly busy in my office and just slightly jumpy. George finally showed up to save me about nine hours later.

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“Uh, babe, why are you wearing your sidearm?”

“There’s something huge in the walls. I called you, but you didn’t answer.”

“I’ve been underneath a garden tub all day.”

“Well, while you were lounging around in a garden tub, I was defending the house.”

“I wasn’t lounging…nevermind. What does it sound like?”

Wendy fishing for possum“It sounds like it weighs a lot and wants to eat my face off. We’re going to have to shoot the back wall out.”

“Why did you put the bayonet on the Mosin? And what’s the fishing pole for?”

“I heard it near the air vents. I was going to lure it out with some tasty bait and stab it to death. I figured that might be safer than shooting the wall out.”

“Uh, good call. Do we have a can of tuna?”

“How can you eat right now?! There’s a potentially rabid monster in the walls and you’re going to have a tuna sandwich?”

This is where he stopped talking to me and went to look for tuna. I was left in my office, incredibly busy, and wondering if my husband could understand the implications of having his face eaten off. I followed him downstairs.

“How’s your sandwich? Feeling strong enough to battle a beast now?”

“Babe, I’m using tuna to bait the trap. We’ve got a coon or a possum in the wall.”

“You’re just going to trap it? You’re not going to shoot it?”

“I’ll shoot it after I trap it. Better for the walls.”

“That’s not very sporting.”

This is where he stopped talking to me again, mostly because he felt bad about wanting to shoot a poor little trapped animal, I’m sure.