There are so many aspects of living in the country that no one tells you about. We, as a society, still cling to the pastoral ideals of the centuries past. There are whole social media groups dedicated to discussing and dreaming about small farm life. People even "hobby" farm. But there are many inglorious aspects to this acreage living. One of them being the profuse amount of little animals. Now all of these squirrels, voles, moles, gofers, possums, raccoons, field mice, rats, bats and birds were once on my nice list. I thought of them as very adorable creatures and would have saved any of their little lives in a heart beat. That was before we bought an old house out in the county. Once these creatures decide that your house is theirs...it is war. I have been kept awake many a night by a squirrel rolling nuts across our attic and dropping them down the walls. One night a raccoon gave us a huge scare by opening a bathroom window and scampering around our basement trying to steal shiny remodel tools. We thought it was a human intruder. One broken closet rod (as a sub for a baseball bat), a lot of yelling and an almost call to 911 later, all that remained was the little buggers evidence of escape out the bathroom window. His little muddy hand prints were everywhere and he almost made off with one of our wrenches. We thought we had seen it all.
A little hole through drywall that was not there a week ago. I cursed the little mice and squirrels who run rampant through our walls. I had no idea there was another culprit so we set a mouse trap.
Then a couple nights later I awoke to a strange smell and noise coming from the closet.
Poor Zeph had no idea what I had discovered until he was woken up by my surprised yell.
There was a weasel stuck in the mouse trap. A weasel.
Fun fact: Weasels are a lot like skunks; when scared they release a nasty smelling fluid from their bum-hole area.
And this little weasel was scared. He flopped around the trap squealing and spreading his smell everywhere. By this point Zeph was out of bed but not happy about it. I think he would have been fine just going back to sleep and leaving the whole situation until morning. However, there is no way I was letting that thing spray our closet all night.
I had a plan and like all great husbands, he was going to execute it.
My great plan of throwing a towel over the whole weasel and trap was a little dicier than expected because the little bugger started spraying more and thrashing around. This resulted in a panic run to the front door and the little guy being flung into our front yard.
Zeph was not happy about being outside in his under pants and even more unhappy about still being awake in the middle of the night.
I could not come up with any plans for what to do about the little critter and Zeph promptly stated he didn't care if it died in the trap. That's what it gets for invading our house. He, again, stated he was in his underpants and went back to bed.
I, however, cursed with a merciful heart towards even the tiniest of creatures could not let the weasel suffer. I can't even squish a spider without giving myself an internal monologue to ease my guilt. And here was this guy giving me the "please help me eyes". I had to do something. No amount of pep talk was going to ease my conscience on this one.
As I examined the furry flopper a little closer I could tell his neck was broken. Suddenly my help was going to be useless. Even if I set this guy free he would suffer and die.
I knew what I had to do.
At first I tried to get out of it by looking around and not finding anything super convenient to do the job.
But soon I laid eyes on a little shovel we use for scooping ashes out of our wood stove.
It was not pleasant, but it was the most merciful thing to be done.
Or so I thought.
The shovel was not the best choice. It was surprisingly light weight for being metal and actually hard to aim. You can imagine what Zeph was thinking as he heard this unfold outside our bedroom window...
Needless to say, a lot of work went into this whole "being merciful" thing without the intended results. It was finally accomplished.
I returned to bed, guilt not abated.
Naturally, sleep evaded us after all that excitement/trauma.
Hoping that finding out boring facts about weasels would lull us to sleep, we looked up what kind of weasels we had around our area. Because we had no idea weasels even existed in the wild around us not to mention in our house.
Turns out we have short tailed weasels. And their adorable pictures were not helping with my guilt. They are so cute and fluffy and playful looking. Our fact finding led us to wonder what these sweet little things eat. Probably insects, but only the yucky ones like mosquitoes. We probably had just killed a sweet little protector dude just trying to rid the world of wasps and leaches.
Use the image tab on your search engine and look up what these little spunky fellas eat.
Warning: Do not show small children.
The first image that pops up is a little weasel killing a rabbit. Blood everywhere. Dead. Dead. Dead bunny.
Turns out that even the littlest weasels kill bunnies. Wanna know how? By latching onto the bunny behind its ears and RIPPING THE SPINAL CORD OUT.
Needless to say our perspective changed from guilt to terror.
And no one slept that night.
And that, my friends, is true country living.