Of Wood Chucks and Butternut Squash

Did you know that wood chuck’s love butternut squash?

I know this to be true because I sacrificed one to bait the live trap last week to catch the furry little varmint who was trying to move into the pole barn.

It worked! That wood chuck ate every piece of that butternut squash as he awaited his fate.

When my husband told me the news, I jokingly replied, “At least he had a good last meal!”

To which my husband responded, “I think I’ll just take him with me to work and let him go at the river.”

I won’t repeat my reply.

Fast forward to that afternoon. Nate and I went to help some new neighbors move in about ten miles away and Jan joined us later, after work. When we were finished, we sent Nate home alone so the two of us could ride home together.

I had a few minutes to sit in the suburban alone savoring the peace and quiet after the busy afternoon before Jan joined me.

We took off down the gravel road, and I proceeded to fill him in on every little detail of my day (as only a wife can) and was in the middle of a long – but very important story – when he suddenly stopped the Suburban on a bridge.

I paused mid-sentence and asked the obvious, “What are we doing?”

He pulled on his gloves as he said, “Letting your little furry friend go.”

What?! That creepy rodent of unusual size was sitting behind me the entire time?! I shuddered at the thought.

I don’t know what was worse – sitting there in blissful silence while a beady-eyed wood chuck sat menacingly behind me or if he had a made a noise and announced his presence.

I think the latter.

“I thought you were going to let him go this morning on the way to work?” l asked while he carefully grabbed the trap from behind me.

“I couldn’t find a good spot”, he replied as he carried the cage to the edge of the concrete bridge and opened it.

I won’t repeat my reply.

But I wasn’t happy as I sat in the Suburban and watched my husband try to get that critter to leave the cage.

After several minutes I had had enough. I grabbed an extra set of gloves, marched across that bridge, picking up a stick as I went and then -mumbling something about pesky varmints and husbands who should listen to their wives – I whacked the cage where his back side sat with a primal scream that sent that critter running.

“And you better not show up at our place again!” I yelled as he disappeared.

My husband laughed.

The laughing stopped two days when he looked out the window and saw a wood chuck hobble across our yard.

My husband said it might not be the same one – but then again – it might be limping with a sore backside from a ferocious whack!

I won’t repeat my reply.

But I did sacrifice another butternut squash to catch that furry nuisance.

And this time he didn’t get another chance.

At least he had a good final meal.

 

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