The past several months  “something” has been tunneling  under the floor in our  red barn. We don’t use it for anything except an occasional party in the haymow, but because it is in such fine shape, I would like to keep it maintained as long as I can.

I suspected rats,  because the holes were too small for a ground-hog. There is no grain or feed in any of our outbuildings, which should be attracting rats….hasn’t been for 50 years..  I know those suckers are prolific breeders however, and left unchecked one pair of rats can easily multiply into 200 (to 2000)  in a year, depending on who you talk to, so this is not an issue to just turn my back on.

I bought a large pail of rat bat, thinking that would take care of it, because it usually does.

After the second pail was gone with no noticeable dent in the digging activity, I got on the Internet   and ordered the most lethal brand I could purchase without a permit.

Started using it the day it came, and it seemed to have the opposite effect.   More digging, and in fact,  the bait station had been moved several feet from where I had set it out. That made me think I was now also dealing with a raccoon.  They are smart in their own way.  I had one raccoon that would tip the garbage can full of dog food over to get it, because he couldn’t get the metal lid off.

(A bait station, is a plastic box  with holes in it that will allow the rodents in and out, but keep the bait away from any cats or other animals you don’t want to expose to the poison.)

This morning when I went out to the barn..sure enough..there was a half-grown raccoon sitting inside the trap/ stuck.

Normally I  just “live trap” raccoons and release them several miles away, in a wooded area with a pond.  I used to mark them with  red spray paint..figured if they came back a second time, then I wouldn’t be so kind.

Looking at that raccoon in the trap this morning, made me think about a guy who rents from a friend of mine. Or at least he used to… Friend got a call a few weeks ago from the guys wife, saying he was missing.  Turned out the wife had moved out months before  and there was real concern he’d done himself in.. in the rental house. Friend called the police, to meet him over at his rental house, for fear of what they were going to find when they got there.

Found out the renter, who by all accounts was a great personable guy had racked up $250,000 worth of gambling debt and had an out of control cocaine addiction.   That was why the wife had moved out.  The renters choices  had finally caught up with him and he had reached the end of his wiggle room.

What is it about cocaine, or gambling, or alcohol, or pornography, or an affair or any number of vices?   They start out so quietly and tasty. (depending on your individual bent)

I think I am the exception.  I can indulge and no harm will come.  I get away with it.


Then BAM.  That one time I don’t….and everything I’ve worked for, sometime for years, is suddenly compromised in an instant….

Anyone of us that sits in judgement of another person’s addiction is only fooling ourselves.  I am convinced that all of us, myself included, under the right circumstances, are capable of the same illogical choices.

Have a great day, and for crying out loud, leave that rat bait alone! 🙂 DM


raccoon 2016 (1)

His love for rat poison finally caught up with him.


7 thoughts on “Temptation

  1. Oh, raccoons. That’s really a good idea, to mark them before release. At the marinas around here, when they catch feral cats and take them for their free fixing at the hands of local vets, the ears are notched, too, so they know who they’re dealing with in the future.

    A new addiction has been added to the list, of course: social media, texting, and electronic gadgets. We watched it in action on Easter Sunday, where tables full of people at a restaurant sat waiting for their food, all staring at their screens. I’m so glad I was an “early non-adapter.” The marketers can put cheese their traps all they want. I’m not going to bite.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not far behind you.;-) I still don’t have anything resembling a smart phone. I can call and text but can’t receive pictures or get on line. I noticed last night, there must be a second raccoon, because things were again shoved around in ways no rat could have done. I’ve decided to stop feeding the expensive rat poison until I am pretty sure there are no more raccoons.


  2. Oh! Did the rat poison kill the raccoon?

    I had a patient yesterday who was hit by a car a couple of months ago because he wandered into the road drunk. His leg was so badly broken the surgeon thought he was going to lose it. But he put an external fixation on it to try to save it. Well, years of alcohol abuse left him with liver disease and his body was not able to heal. I prayed with that man as he cried over the sadness and shock of having to have it amputated. I was very sad for him. And even sadder for the very cynical anesthesiologist who said people never change. I thought it was a very snap judgement of a person he had only met. But we do that, don’t we? I know I do. I cried for the rest of my shift. Large tears of sadness. Luckily, this happened at the end of the day. Crying makes me tired.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not that I know of. (raccoons dead). Did end up catching two raccoons both appeared alive and feisty when i relocated them..but like the guy you met, I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t have long term health issues Contrary to what your anesthesiologist thinks, people can change…sometimes it takes getting to the end of ourselves for it to happen, and we may be left with some permanent scars, as gentle reminders, but change can happen. grieving is emotionally exhausting.


      • That’s what I said to him and he was adamant that people don’t change. Ever. I figured he may have been hurt by someone who never changed. I know some people don’t change. My ex has yet to change. Plus this guy is Chinese and I don’t think he knows Jesus at all. That makes a big difference doesn’t it?

        Liked by 1 person

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