The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It’s that time of year again. At our house, we look forward to this magical season with great anticipation. It’s a time of limitless possibilities where all your dreams can come true. What, you thought I meant Thanksgiving and Christmas? No, I was obviously talking about Coon Season. It’s the time of year when our furry, woodland friends must pay for all the corn they destroyed in the garden during the summer. It’s the time of year when the dogs have to actually do something besides eat and sleep. It’s the time of year when John is absent from 6–10 p.m. most evenings, and I am lord and master of the television remote. Yes, it’s truly the most wonderful time of the year!

John keeps asking me to go hunting with him, but if his evenings’ activities are anywhere close to the way he describes them, I’m really not interested. First of all it involves going outside after dark in the winter. I don’t like the cold weather to begin with so why would I wait until the coldest part of the day to go outside? Even though he has high-powered, high-dollar head lamps (think coal miner only dorkier looking), you are still wandering across uneven terrain and around obstacles in the dark. That’s not my idea of fun.

The second obstacle to a rousing good time is the dogs. You have to follow them wherever they go. Of course his GPS tracking collars are a huge, high-tech step above the old fashioned method of listening to their calls, but you still have to follow their movements which can involve wading through icy streams and sliding down steep creek banks. Then when you actually find the dogs, you get to lead them back to the vehicle over the same treacherous path. Did I mention this is all done in the dark?

The third negative aspect of this recreational activity is the target species. Raccoons are not the cute, gentle creatures delicately washing their food in a babbling brook as depicted in most nature shows. They can be pretty savage, especially when an 80 pound dog is trying to crush their spinal column or some brightly lit Cyclops is peppering .22 caliber bullets into the tree they inhabit. In fact, if you drag your dog up a riverbank and he decides to let go of the raccoon he has been using as dental floss, the varmint can inflict a nasty bite to the leg if it hasn’t been incapacitated, or so I’ve heard.

Unless the fur industry silences PETA and launches some miraculous public relations campaign that make raccoons worth $500 each, I’ll continue to tend the home fires and leave the coon hunting to the guys. Sitting by a roaring fire on a cold night is much more comfortable and infinitely safer than wandering the countryside in the dark looking for nasty, snarling little corn bandits. Now if Santa will bring new batteries for the remote, it will really be the most wonderful time of the year.

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