I'm not a parent so I can only guess at the accuracy of what I'm about to say. I suspect that at some point in every child's life, they realize that most of those dire parental threats ("If you don't behave, Santa isn't coming." "Your face is going to freeze like that!") are idle, and not only are they no longer intimidated, they will downright flaunt the prohibited behavior, daring retribution.
I bring this up only because the animals in our neighborhood have this attitude toward my serious prohibition against wreaking havoc in our yard. Exhibit A for the prosecution:
This is a compilation of scenes from my game camera taken over the course of a single night (Sunday night/Monday morning). How many species can you identify?
I'll break it down for you:
- Oct 1, 8:18 p.m. - A fox appears
- Oct 1, 10:18 p.m. - An armadillo makes an entrance
- Oct 2, 12:27 a.m. - A skunk materializes
- Oct 2, 5:06 a.m. - A raccoon shows up
Check this out.
A half hour prior to the raccoon's appearance documented above, it (or someone impersonating it) decided to take a closer look at the trap I had baited in anticipation of just such an inquiry. We already know the outcome, don't we? What we don't yet know is just how impudent and contumelious this creature's behavior will be.
Do you see that? DO YOU SEE THAT? It's IN THE TRAP, dining on sardines, and mooning my game camera. *Rodney Dangerfield voice* I tell you, I get no respect.
Update: Just when I thought things couldn't get any weirder...this happened this morning.
The buzzard knew something smelled deliciously dead (five-day-old-sardines remnants), but darned if he could figure out how to get to it.