A Stones Throw 8-29-13


Hi. Shadow here.

I have a problem. I need your help.

Maybe it would be more accurate to say that my people – Jade and Mike – have a problem. You might remember a couple of years ago I wrote about meeting a cousin – Rack Cooney. ‘Rack’, who Mike called Raccoon for short, came in the house for a visit late one night.

At that time, instead of welcoming her to our house, Mike called Farmer Joan from next door to ask Rack to leave.

Rack got the message.

I was disappointed that I didn’t get to spend time with a cousin, but as they say – Life goes on.

This brings me to the problem of today.

Jade likes to feed birds. She likes to sit at the table and watch birds come to her bird feeders to get the treat of the day. Even Mike enjoys watching the different birds – he has even named one Yellow Bellied Woodpecker ‘Zack’.

I haven’t told Mike that Zack is not just one Woodpecker. Instead, Zack is a bunch of different Woodpeckers that look the same. To call one Zack when he sees one is like calling every German Shepherd ‘Shadow’.

I wouldn’t like that.

I am Shadow.

And – Mike’s only Shadow.

But I digress. (Mike taught me that word. I don’t know what it means, but it seemed a good time to use it.)

Anyway, every Morning Jade will check her bird feeders to see if she needs to add more food. Usually, once a bird feeder is full it will not have to be refilled for several days.

Recently, that has changed.

A couple of weeks ago Jade discovered all of her bird feeders empty and her Hummingbird feeders on the ground. Not a problem. She just filled the feeders and refilled and hanged the Hummingbird feeders.

The next morning all the feeders were empty and the Hummingbird feeders were on the ground again.

Jade was at a loss. She had no idea what was happening. She thought maybe a squirrel was getting into the feeders and eating all of the food.

I knew that wasn’t what was happening. I knew who was eating all of the food. The night before I went out on the deck to see what was going on. That is when I met ‘Ronnie’ and ‘Roxie’ – who, after talking with them, I learned were my distant nephew and niece.

That’s right – Ronnie and Roxie are Rack Cooney’s grandchildren.

They are only a month or so old and love the food Jade puts out for them. When I asked why they knocked the Hummingbird feeders on the ground they told me it wasn’t their fault. After a filling meal of birdseed, they wanted a sweet dessert so they moved on to the Hummingbird feeders.

It wasn’t their fault that those feeders weren’t attached very well.

Anyway, as we talked I asked where they lived. They wouldn’t tell me. They said their mother told them never to tell a stranger where they live.

I tried to explain I wasn’t a stranger – I was a distant uncle. They told me they would ask their mother if it was okay to tell me where they live, and maybe even invite me to their home to play.

They left the deck.

I don’t know if it was because they were full, or if they were going to ask their mother if I could play with them.

Whatever. The next night I don’t know when they came to eat – I missed them.

Still, I knew when Jade thought a squirrel had eaten all the bird food, I knew she was wrong. I decided to warn Ronnie and Roxie that Jade was getting upset with all the bird food being eaten.

Unfortunately, before I could get to them that night, Jade walked out on the deck. When she turned the light on she saw four beautiful – innocent – eyes looking at her – one pair from the top of a bird feeder, the other pair from inside the big bird feeder.

Ronnie and Roxie were caught.

Well, not really caught – just identified.

I got worried.

Jade immediately went back into the house. I didn’t know what she was going to do. I panicked. I told Ronnie and Roxie to leave quickly.

To go home.

Ronnie left – Roxie didn’t.

Then, Jade came back out on the deck. She had a black thing in her hand. She pointed it at Roxie and a bright light went off. I looked back at Roxie to see if she was hurt.

She wasn’t. She just sat there on top of the bird feeder looking at Jade. I think she was trying to figure out what the bright flash was.

So was I.

Once Jade went back into the house I convinced Roxie to go home. But before she left I asked her if she had talked to her mother about me going to the house to play with them.

She told me her mother said their home was a secret place that no one could know about. She then took a couple more bites of food and left the deck.

When I went back into the house Jade was telling Mike that she took a picture of the “cutest little raccoon.” She said the eyes just “glistened” when she took the picture. I thought this meant that Jade was happy to see Ronnie and Roxie and would continue to feed them.

I was wrong.

After that, Jade and Mike started taking the bird feeders into the house just before dark. They told me they hoped the little raccoons and their family would move if there wasn’t any food.

I tried to tell them that Ronnie and Roxie were the grandkids of Rack Cooney.

They didn’t care.

So, they keep bringing the bird feeders in the house.

That is until last night when they forgot until well after dark. When Jade went to get the feeders in, she again looked into the beautiful eyes of Roxie.

This is where I need your help.

Jade and Mike are concerned that when Ronnie and Roxie grow up they might be mean. I know this is not true, but they won’t listen to me. Instead, they are talking about ways to “get rid” of my two distant relatives and their mother.

The problem is, while I don’t want them to leave, I really don’t want them to get hurt. And, since neither Ronnie nor Roxie would tell me where they live, I can’t warn them and help them leave safely.

So – I am hoping someone can tell Mike and Jade how to get this family of raccoons (as Jade and Mike call them) to move without hurting them. I know neither Jade nor Mike want to see them get hurt.

And I know I don’t want them to be hurt.

But, I do know they have to leave. They have to find a new home.

Any suggestions? Help!

- Shadow