I walk outside and look at the sky, pleased to not see any stars. Rain is predicted, though even I can see from the radar that it will have dissipated long before it reaches us. But my lilacs, as drought tolerant as they are, are showing signs of heat stress. It’s a beautiful hedge and I don’t want to lose it.
So I am out after dark to gather up the hose and water my lilacs before the heat of tomorrow’s sun sucks the moisture back out of the soil.
As I walk along the hose looking for the end, I hear chattering coming from the windbreak. I stop to shine the flashlight and see two bright green marbles glowing back at me. Eyeshine.
“Raccoons! We have raccoons!”
I yell, and my husband comes running.
“There. This side of the windbreak. It just went into the corn.”
He grabs a broom and a flashlight and is off, running up the hill toward the raccon.
Toward the raccoon that came out of the corn.
Toward the raccoon that is still chattering.
Toward the raccoon that is walking rather nonchalantly toward him.
He freezes and my throat catches. I want to scream for him to leave it. To just come back. That if he can catch it, he doesn’t want to mess with it.
But he just stands there and I just stand there and the raccoon just keeps walking toward him. Everything is in slow motion, except it’s all happening too fast to react. He finally breaks the silence.
“It’s . . . the cat?”
My mind doesn’t quite comprehend.
“He has a mouse.”
And I start laughing so hard I can scarcely breathe. No wonder the dogs weren’t the least bit interested.