Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Coup De Grace

One Down, Thousands To Go...

I shot a squirrel in my backyard the other afternoon.

I would have much preferred to remain lounging in my camp chair, reading my novel and smoking my cigar, but sometimes life throws you a curveball.

I kept hearing a rustling in the monkey grass that lines the sidewalk by the front porch, and thought it was one of the neighbor's kittens stalking my shoelaces. I eventually leaned back to see what was keeping the little bugger from pouncing, and saw just the bare tip of a furry tail poking out of the grass.

I ran through the list of known neighborhood cats, and the tailtip didn't match. It also didn't move, other than to twitch a bit.

Eventually curiosity won out over sloth & indolence, and I heaved myself up to go investigate.

It turned out to be a badly torn-up squirrel. From the size, it looked to be one of last year's crop of kits. It was curled up in the monkey grass, and every so often tried to move, but it wasn't going anywhere quickly. There was a huge gouge in the squirrel's back above the shoulders that looked like someone had taken an apple corer and cut a clean slice all the way through. Kinda like this:

The front legs weren't working, but the tail still twitched and the back legs moved, so I guess the spine was intact. It was pretty beaten up.

It had probably been there a day or more. Big blowflies had already laid eggs in the wound, and I'm surprised that Tiger or Puff or one of the other local cats hadn't eaten it.

So, what to do... Too far gone to go to a vet, even if I was inclined to part with $$ on behalf of a tree rat. Still, as much as I dislike 'em, I'm not going to let it suffer.

I went and got a long-handled shovel and scooped up the skwerl, and went out to the back yard and dropped it into a 5 gallon flower pot half full of dirt. It would be reasonably safe from the cats until I could go get a pistol.

It's kind of funny... You can hardly hear a .22 at the gun range. It gets swallowed up by the big-bore banging going on. In a quiet suburban neighborhood, though, that thing is awfully damn loud!

One head shot, with the bullet burying itself in the potted dirt, and the deed was done. While I usually subscribe to the "You kill it, you eat it" credo, I'm not such a hide-bound conservative that I won't make an exception for a maggot-ridden squirrel.

I am sorta curious what got the squirrel in that condition. I was tempted to put on some rubber gloves and do a post-mortem, but as I mentioned earlier, I had a cigar and a book waiting. It wasn't a cat or dog bite. It looked more like a blade cut than anything else.

Who knows? Maybe the silly thing had climbed up in a car engine and got smacked by a fan blade.

Well, whatever's left in the flowerpot Friday morning gets dumped in the bin for trash pickup. If you want some squirrel jerky, I'd say that Thursday afternoon it oughta be nice & ripe...