Yesterday Was NOT Groundhog Day

I have a short window of time (30 minutes) between the end of the school day and soccer practice, and my house is right next to the middle school soccer field, so I have just enough time to go inside, change into my coaching gear, and do one or two other random things: sometimes I take the dog for a short walk, sometimes I eat a snack, sometimes I play the guitar or read, sometimes I unload the dishwasher or start the wash, sometimes I make iced coffee, sometimes I read Gheorghe:The Blog, and sometimes-- and this is a new one from yesterday and I hope it doesn't become a mainstay of my after-school-before-practice-schedule-- sometimes I let the dog out into the backyard, grab a bag of potato chips from the cabinet, and while I am opening the bag of chips, I hear fantastical growling and snarling in the yard, so I run out onto the back porch and see that the dog has a large groundhog by the scruff of the neck, shaking it to death, so I grab a wiffle ball bat, sprint down the porch steps, yell at the dog to drop the critter, and swing the bat menacingly (I'm not sure if I was swinging the bat at the dog or at the groundhog, it just seemed like the thing to do) and Sirius obeyed and let go of the groundhog, which fell on the grass and lay there, prone but breathing heavily, eyes open . . . so I led Sirius onto the back porch, brushed the groundhog hair off his legs, told him he was a good boy, and put him inside; then I went back out to deal with the dying animal in my yard-- knowing full well that my kids would be home in a few minutes and I needed to get down to the soccer field ASAP . . . and that's when I realized I should have let my dog finish the job and then made him drop the creature because now I had to finish the job, and I didn't grow up on a farm but I also didn't have time to contemplate much about the deed, and so I went inside, emptied out a cardboard box (Popchips . . . a humiliating casket, but what could I do?) and then went back out to the yard to tend to the groundhog . . . I had hoped that he might have miraculously recuperated and shuffled off, but he was still lying in the same spot, neck and back broken, but alive, so I whacked him over the head with a metal shovel, used the same instrument to load him into his cardboard casket, taped it shut, and drove the box to the park and tossed it in a dumpster . . . minutes later my kids arrived home, I told them an expurgated version of the story, and we went on our merry way to soccer practice.

9 comments:

rootsminer said...

I had to euthanize a dying chicken in my backyard not too long ago that a predator left behind. The burial was similar to the one you describe here.

Dave said...

what kind of casket/box? i recommend popchips!

do you raise chickens? do the chickens have large talons?

zman said...

Nasty dispositions?

rootsminer said...

We raised laying hens in our urban backyard for the past six years. We only had one that survived the last varmint attack, so we sent her to live with the chickens at my wife's school. Yes, it is the hippie school in town, and the chickens dispositions are excellent.

When the hens are young, the fresh eggs are bountiful and delicious. When they get old, eggs are much more scarce and you may have to mercy kill them with a shovel, triple bagged them, and toss them unceremoniously into a dumpster. We are keeping our coop, but are out of the chicken game for now.

Dave said...

but the talons?

rootsminer said...

Talons are not particularly large. Large enough to roost comfortably on the wide part of a 2 X 4.

zman said...

Because Dave wants to raise chickens but he's scared of their claws?

Clarence said...

I believe that was a Napoleon Dynamite question.

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