I live on a small farm in middle eastern Tennessee. It’s hills and “hollers” and lots of trees. We have horses, chickens, and the usual dogs and cats. And their food is, like ours, getting more expensive by the day. Recently, we have experienced the raids on our various animal feed stores by varmints unnamed– at least until we set traps for them. These are the kind of traps that catch them, but don’t hurt them, unless you count their wounded pride as injury. The first cage trap went unfulfilled until steps were taken to make sure that the bait in it — cat food– couldn’t be accessed without tripping the spring that shut the cage door. That necessitated a concrete block on top and being braced on both sides by stout logs. These predators were determined…..
Cue up the footage for OWS in various cities around the country. They are no different than the varmints that have showed up here to claim that which they didn’t provide nor work for with the sweat of their brow. They demand from others what they are not willing to provide for themselves, and, like the coons we have caught, they hiss and growl when caught in the traps that have been set for them by their own greed and laziness. In Nashville, the little pencil-necks who “man the barricades” in Legislative Plaza proudly proclaim their right to be there and their determination to “go limp if we have to” when hauled off by the authorities that be. My husband, observing the little freak who proudly proclaimed that brave stance, said, “Well, going limp is definitely HIS best play…” And so it was. They were hauled off last night by the State Troopers who do security for the Tennessee Statehouse, and they had to drag some off with their little limp wrists cuffed behind them and their feet scuffing up their parent-financed shoes on the pavement under them. It wasn’t exactly an inspiring moment that made you want to jump up and fist-pump the air at the triumph for freedom and liberty that was undoubtedly intended to be. It made you, instead, chuckle grimly to yourself at the sight of nasty little varmints who thought they had the world by the scruff of its own neck. Unfortunately, as happens all too often in our world these days, the judge set them all free, claiming that the new guidelines that were issued that said they could only be in the Plaza from 8 a.m. until 4p.m. had not been in effect long enough for them to reasonably be able to follow them. Well then, I will look forward to what happens in the next few days.
Fortunately, here on the farm, we are under no such edict. In the past three weeks, we have caught 5 coons. The first three were males, and big ones at that. Having once upon a time thought that raccoons were cute and cuddly animals, I have since been disabused of that notion. They would bite your finger off in a heartbeat if they had the chance, and rip your face off as well if they needed to do that to escape. Disney beasts, they ain’t. They hiss, they growl, they snap like mad dogs, and with just as much care for you as a mad dog would have. No judge gets to tell us what we have to do with them. Therefore the first three went to friends and relatives who were training the noble coon hound to his trade. The fourth one was a young one and we had a good deal of sympathy for him. So he got released into the horse lot behind our house and we watched him gallop off down the hill into the woods. (If he gets caught a second time, however, he’s toast ) The fifth one was a female coon, a big one. That one we sent to another guy far from here who releases the females into the woods near his own farm, because he breeds and trains coon hounds and he wanted to get another population of the varmints established in his woods. More power to him.
Here’s the point of all of this: The coons could have lived their lives with no trouble from us if they had been willing to avail themselves of the bounty that hard work offered them in their natural habitat. The woods are full of hickory nuts, walnuts, acorns, various berries and small animals that raccoons like to eat. And yet they chose to take what was not theirs and what someone else had to work for to provide. And if they were allowed to keep taking what they didn’t have any right to, then others would suffer for it. Our horses and chickens and cats and dogs depend upon the food that we provide to them to survive. Is it humane of us to allow the coons to steal it from us and from them just because it’s easier for the coons to eat here rather than forage in the woods for their food? No, it is not. And it is not humane of us to allow stupid children to think that demanding our “stuff” from us rather than working for it themselves is the way to go. What happens when we run out of “stuff” to give to them? Answer? We all starve.
For anyone who wants to feel sorry for either those coons we caught or for the OWS idiots, just stick your finger in a cage with a wild coon, or offer your wallet to an OWS participant. Then come tell me how much of either your finger or your wallet contents you still have and I’ll be willing to listen to your defense of “innocent creatures who are just trying to make a better life for themselves.”
Here’s a clue, just in case you haven’t gotten the point by now– they aren’t “looking to make a better life for themselves”. They’re looking to take your own better life. You know, the one YOU worked for? Yeah, that’s what they want. What I’d like to know, at this late date, is this: Where do we find a cage with a steel spring on it that will hold about 50 OWS members at a time? And can we order them in multiples and expect delivery PDQ? If someone’s looking to start a business, there’s your product concept. You won’t be able to bait it with cat food, but might I suggest organic smoked salmon and cream cheese? And if you don’t have the organic stuff, just tell ’em that’s what it is. They don’t mind lying to each other and us, why should we quibble over so small a fib? One caution, however, if you catch these particular varmints– I don’t think there’s any use for them in the natural world. Although you might try relocating them to population areas that are more conducive to their natural inclinations. Unfortunately, or not, those places have shown no tolerance or love for folks who are nothing but a burden on THEIR societies and feed-stores either. As the saying goes, life is hard—- and then you either grow up or die. We have raccoons who are getting smart enough to recognize this. What does that particular fact say about the HUMANS who can’t seem to get it?