Like a Bandit in the Night / by LD


Despite living within the densest thicket of urban (and suburban) sprawl, there are still moments wherein nature is alarmingly close. On Sunday, in fact, while out on my bike ride, I saw the flock of green parrots who live in Long Beach squawking overhead en route to a palm tree. On that same day, Ashley was caught attempting to befriend a fat squirrel in our front yard. Fearing rabies and immanent death, Graham threw yard debris at the little bugger until he skulked up a tree with a disgruntled huff.

Crisis averted (though that's not to say Graham didn't have a new sort of crisis on his hands suffering Ashley's bellowing wrath at his untimely removal of The Cute from our yard).

Yesterday evening, around 6:30 and returning from work, I pulled into my driveway, gathered my things, and walked from the driveway to the front door. The feathery vestiges of twilight were still grasping at the corners of the horizon as night had not yet fallen. When I was about eight feet from the door I noticed a rustling in the bushes about three feet to my right. Looking a bit stunned but hardly surprised was a hump-backed raccoon, crouching near the porch steps, twiddling his opposing thumbs menacingly.

"Let's get some RABIES up in herrre," he may have said.

NOT UNTIL I MAKE YOU INTO A COONSKIN CAP YOU OVERGROWN - ALBEIT BEGRUDGINGLY ADORABLE - RODENT! I hollered.

"WHATEVER, I'M GOING TO EAT YOUR FACE NOW."

And there's my exit. Once (safely) inside, I told Jody about the 'coon I saw in the yard. While we ate dinner we could hear our neighbor's dog going bananas in the backyard followed by a snarl and a tussle in our driveway. Piqued, Jody hightailed it for the front door to get a better look. One guttural squall later, she leapt inside the house, white as a sheet. "HE CHARGED AFTER ME!" She hollered.

Bold little troll, I thought. "Really, Jodes? He came after you?"

She thought about this for a moment. "Well," she hemmed, "He may have been running in the other direction..."

"Away from you?"

"Away from me," she hawed, "He may have been running away from me, yes."

Oh, to live inside her hyperbolical world. One might die of overemphasis.

All that to say, damn, nature. You scary.

I will eat your face!