By Diana Wanamaker
Just before I left the barn this morning, I saw this fella in the trap the barn owner had set. I got down close to her and talked to her. I began to feel this great sadness, for I knew the fate this one had. Her little ears moved as I talked to her. Her nose twitched and she leaned just ever so slightly towards my voice. I could sense she was young. She had done only what she knew and was only being who she is. Just being a raccoon. Seeking out food and her need to eat. The tempting piece of meat that sat there luring her in.
But her inexperience landed her trapped and scared. Digging fiercely at the cage to escape. She huddled in the back of the cage, as I talked to her and apologized for what was the end of her life. I wanted to let her out. Let her be free again. Then I took a look at Jay, and Kichi sitting near by me, looked back at the raccoon and knew that if I let her go, she would return and would never enter the trap again. I walked away, apologizing again for the end of her life.
The raccoons have completely destroyed the apartment attached to the barn. Once again the mother raccoon had found a nest in the apartment attached to the barn. I could hear them chirping each visit to the barn. They had crawled into the apartment and nested in the ceiling. The barn owner had set traps. But she is too smart…..and too busy taking care of babies. But that too ended.
The barn owner had gone into the apartment the other day and found 3 dead baby raccoons. They had fallen thru the ceiling from all the urine soaked dry wall and died. Mom had left and there was no further sign of raccoon’s in the apartment. But then I found my supplements had been attempted to get into. Cat food container had been knocked around, etc., etc.
They are a nuisance, the raccoons. They create possible health hazards and they destroy all they leave their hands on. Just being who they are. But the barn owner and myself don’t want them in the barn. I am all for living in peace with the living things that inhabit the life of a farm. It is part of a farm. But, sometimes it is a choice between the raccoons and the animals I love and care for.
I had wished there was another way. I wished that the raccoon that was trapped was not the last thing that it knew or experienced.
Much like life itself. Sometimes just for being who we are, we take the bait that promises what we seek. Just as the raccoon had. We become trapped, scared, not knowing our fate or understanding why it had come to such a point in life, just for being who we are and seeking what was perfectly natural. The sometimes harsh way of farm life is no different then the way of life.
It is easy to wish they would go away, to complain about what a nuisance they are and to know that they are destructive, cost money and can be hazardous. But when you look into their eyes and you see the fear in their face, all that means very little. It is easy in life to wish others away. To resent their decisions, their actions. But when you know their story. When you meet them in person and know who they are. Look into their eyes, it is a different perspective that will enlighten you.
We don’t always have a choice in our decisions that may inevitably inflict fear and suffering on others. But we do have a choice to make our apologies, to offer our humanity to another, with no defense of our actions. At very least we can accept that responsibility.
Copyright April 26, 2016. All Rights Reserved