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A Quiet Evening in the Neighborhood

It was a quiet evening, the kind every Mom longs for – an evening when the kids were gone, the house stayed clean, and nobody was asking, "What's for dinner?" I was settled in with a good book and a big smile, ready for a couple hours of solitude.

Then I heard it. It sounded like scratching and a bit of chattering coming from the ceiling. I looked out the window and saw nothing, so I went back to my nest.

It got louder, and this time, the dogs' ears perked up. Not that I pay much attention to my dogs' ears perking up, because their ears perk up about 20,000 times a day. It's usually because a car has driven by, someone is walking another dog past my house, or the wind is blowing, so I remain calm and hope it's not the one time an ax murderer is trying to break in.

But when my dogs' finely-honed protective instincts (and I use the term "finely-honed" loosely) kick in full throttle and they begin sniffing the air and barking wildly, I decide that I'd better do a little investigation.

Armed with a flashlight, golf club, and two of the most ferocious schnauzers in the land (and I use the term "ferocious" loosely), I step outside and sweep the roof line with the beam from my flashlight just like a professional (I learned the technique during my "training sessions," AKA, watching "Charlie's Angels" back in the '70s). The light illuminates a pair of beady little eyes and a pointed little snout. When the creature started hissing at me, I did just what Sabrina, Kelly, or Kate (AKA, Charlie's Angels) would have done; I screamed and high-tailed it back into the house. Jenny, one of our schnauzers, was screaming even louder and had positioned herself into a quivering ball on the sofa before I could even get one foot through the door.

Max, still outside, was bravely accepting the raccoon's challenge all by himself, which was OK while the raccoon was still up on the roof. But when the beast came down and brought two of its closest friends, I knew I had to go back out there. I grabbed Max, threw him in the house, and faced the three creatures.

"Get OUTTA HERE!!!" I screamed in my meanest, scariest, most exorcist Mom voice and, grabbing the closest things I could find, began throwing things at the beasts. I could have sworn one of them actually flipped me off when a sprinkler hit its back side. It turned around and hissed even more fiercely.

"I don't take that kind of talk from my kids, and I'm certainly not going to take it from you, you mangy varmint," I screamed, followed by some very un-Mom like words.

As the three beasts scurried away, I yelled, "And STAY out," throwing a couple of beheaded Barbies just to show them I was serious.

I turned to walk back in the house and noticed a neighbor standing on the street in front of my house.

Smiling, I waved and said, "Oh, hey Neighbor! Beautiful night for a walk, isn't it?" She didn't make eye contact as she hurried away.

Oh well, just another quiet evening in the neighborhood.

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