Sometimes nature can get a little too close as in this story


Inez McCollum

When two of our sons, Joe and John, were young, there was a continuous stream of green snakes, frogs and turtles living in various containers on the sundeck or in the basement. Some of those critters I secretly released; others they relocated. The first critter brought into the house was a fledgling mocking bird. The little fellow had a wounded wing and John brought him home.mocking bird

We named this guy Motley and kept him in a cage in the kitchen. Motley’s favorite food was canned dogfood which we would put on a popsicle stick and hold out for him. Motley thought I was his mother. Whenever I walked into the kitchen he would begin begging for food. When we thought his wing was strong enough for flight, John released him; however Motley only made it to a tree limb. John climbed the tree and retrieved him. A few days later Motley was released permanently and flew away.

While in high school, our son, Jay, had a biology experiment using two white mice. One of them, he would expose to cigarette smoke and the other was in a smoke free environment. I didn’t get very close to those critters, Jay had complete control of them. The smoker was the aggressor and eventually destroyed the non-smoker.two white mice

After his two brothers had moved on, John came upstairs late one night and reported that there was something in the furnace room. It was hanging on the inside of the louvered door and had little hands.  I went down to check on that; but could find nothing. The next day as I sat at the kitchen table doing some paperwork, I saw a movement across the room. There was the ugliest baby animal I had ever seen! I got the broom and scooted him out the door onto the sundeck; then determined that our guest was a baby possum. That one went on his way back into the wild.


A few years ago, I would hear something moving around in the attic. It would get down into the walls and move from room to room. When I would be working with the computer at night, the movement would be overhead. This was really a spooky experience. I called critter control to take care of that. The animal was a roof rat and had apparently found a small opening by which he entered the attic.roof rat

One of my grandchildren left the backdoor open and two titmice flew into the sunroom. Fortunately, those were discovered before they got too comfortable.tufted titmouse
My latest invaders were chipmunks. One got under the sunroom floor and died. That caused a lot of unpleasant odor. I invested in duct cleaners to clear the air. The other chipmunk was discovered moving from room to room downstairs. He was ushered out and things have finally calmed down around here.
Fortunately all of these critters have been smaller than a bread basket! I suppose I can be thankful God placed me in the suburbs instead of the jungle.


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