Merry Meet and Merry Part, and Merry Meet again

Friday, June 28, 2013

Shamefully Sad Story

Struggling since yesterday as to whether or not to share this story. There is no happy ending here, and a promise I made was broken, though there was nothing I could really do.

Firstly, about five years ago, when our backyard garden was in its glory, fresh made raised beds and glorious veggies bursting forth, a rather tragic occurrence shook my little world. There was a sweet young rabbit in the garden having a snack on the squash blossoms. I spent a good hour watching him and sort of communing with him. There were many, many blossoms and already quite a few squash growing, so I did not begrudge this cute fellow his snack. Rabbits are very special to the Goddess and my garden is a witchy garden, planted with spells and songs.

A person known to me who I will not name decided that this rabbit had no business in the garden. Worse than Farmer MacGregor from Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit story, this person took a sharp-pointed long tool and stabbed the rabbit. I was in the house and was alarmed to hear horrible screams. The screams went on and on as it took a while, and many strikes for this young rabbit to be killed. I had never heard such screams from an animal before. I screamed and raged and wept, so sickened by this awful death. And I promised then and there, to the Goddess and the garden spirits, that all would be protected here in this garden. No living creature would ever have to suffer such a death.

Now, yesterday, as the backyard was being mowed, a raccoon was discovered under our blue arctic willow shrub. At first not moving, we all thought it was dead. But after a bit, it moved its head slightly and it became quite apparent that this was a sick raccoon, possibly in early stages of rabies.

Got onto the phone to the wild animal control officer and left a message. We were very concerned about this sick raccoon, especially if it was rabid and left our yard for some other place. I think someone called the police, not quite sure of this actually, but a sheriff's deputy arrived to assess the situation. Everyone takes sick wild animals very seriously.

Raccoon under the willow shrub in my yard yesterday

The general consensus was that the raccoon was either very sick, or possibly injured from being hit by a car and was suffering. The deputy decided to shoot the raccoon to put it out of its misery, especially in case it tried to escape the backyard and put someone at risk.

My heart sank, but I agreed, since I could fully well see that this raccoon was in a bad way. I raced into the house so I wouldn't have to watch, and gasped a few seconds later as the very loud gunshot exploded in the backyard.  The wild animal control officer showed up a few minutes later to take the body away.

That would have been the end of it, except later that afternoon, I was told by my husband that in fact the deputy MISSED the head shot, and hit the raccoon in the shoulder. The raccoon bit down on the pole with the loop on the end as the animal control fellow was trying to catch it and put it in a cage. It would not let go of the pole and there was quite a struggle to get the raccoon into the cage. The idiot deputy from less than two feet away wounded this raccoon and now this creature was not only sick, but injured.

I know that I could not have done anything about this, but another animal was suffering in my garden again and I am sick about it. I am angry at the officer and at the whole situation. What started as a compassionate rescue turned into a mess.

That's the story and I hope you don't mind my rambling on about it.

p.s. I do support our law enforcement officers, but this particularly individual did a bad job.


Rebecca Pilon said...

You are not to blame for what happened in either instance. Especially for the raccoon. That idiot of a cop should have waited for animal control to come so that the poor thing could be properly euthanized.
You are a wonderful woman and so full of love that there is not a doubt in my mind that you would have allowed this to happen had you had any real say in the matter.
Hold your head high for you did nothing wrong.

mrsduncanmahogany said...

This is a sad story. And to make it more sad with the missed shot. We have had death in our garden too, and it is never easy. Breaks my heart everytime. Heal yourself, heal your garden - know with life there is death, the Goddess understands. She forgives and will bring joy and life to your garden once again.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

oh awful!

mxtodis123 said...

Oh my, this brought me to tears. Oh, those poor animals. My friend, you are not at fault in any way. What happened was beyond your control. Not anyone is as kind and caring as you are.

I remember in my old neighborhood, there was a woman there who thought the humane thing to do was not feed the strays, but poison them. She killed cats, kittens, squirrels, and at one point, nearly my little Miss Minga. There is evil in this world. Sad, but true.

Kelly M said...

I also had a sick raccoon in my yard and an officer from the Ontario Provincial Police came to assess things. She decided that the racoon was definitely sick and then used her service revolver to put an end to the poor animal's suffering. Unfortunately, it took her six, yes SIX shots to kill the racoon. Everyone was making mean comments. But when I took a moment to place myself in the officer's shoes, I think she found it difficult to shoot the raccoon and that is why she missed so many times. I'm sure she was very upset about the whole thing herself. Taking a life is never easy ...... just saying.

oldgreymare said...

Perhaps this will help... Unlike tv and movies.... very few officers ever actually discharge their weapons to harm or kill anyone or any creature. Although they practice and become skilled on a range, facing something with a face is not easy and it would be quite easy to miss actually. That is why the only sure shot of a moving animal is with the barrel touching the head which I'm sure this officer could or would not do.
So try to forgive and understand that this was not a good day for him either, and I'm sure he'll carry the image awhile....
The power of forgiveness the power of grace <3

Sandi said...

Quite a story and a sad one. It's too bad you had to watch and hear this once again. Hope you are OK.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I would have been very upset by both situations as well. I'm sorry you were within earshot to bear witness to their deaths.

Linda Wildenstein said...

sweet lady, I am glad that you brought this story to share. Remember that a burden shared is always lessened. It is not your fault. It is not yours to share alone. I ache for the poor creatures but more for you. You can't blame yourself for anothers actions.
You are one of the kindest, most dear people I know. I hope you will find peace in all of this. Think of all the other creatures who have found peace and "a free lunch" in your back yard. Smiles and hugs for you and your caring heart. Oma Linda

Magic Love Crow said...

Robin, I am so sorry! I have tears in my eyes! My special friend, both these situations were not your fault!! Don't blame yourself! All the animals come to you, because they love you, remember that! Big Hugs!!! xoxoxox

Anonymous said...

That was awful but You're not to blame!

It seems that many police officers are really bad shooters!!! Over here a police officer tried to shoot a dog that he thought was aggressive (turns out it wasn't, it just stood up when the police wanted to come close to its owner).

He shot the poor dog 22 times before he finally managed to hit it in the right place!!!! That poor dog! and the only reason he really shot it was because he thought it was a pitbull, which it wasn't!

I'm sorry about the raccoon but I think I'm even more sorry about the world having so many polices that doesn't know how to aim properly.


Anonymous said...

How sad. Huge hugs to you my friend.

Chatelaine said...

Such a tragedy in both cases. Animals just tug at my heartstrings and I know the same goes for you. You were doing what you thought was right in the case of the raccoon and what horrible person stabs a baby rabbit? It makes me so sad that there is such evil and absence of humanity in some people. So sorry you had to go through this.

AkasaWolfSong said...

Such a tragedy Dear Friend, but no blame should be placed anywhere...
I'm with The Old Grey Mare in this instance. It is very hard to shoot an never knows when they will move, etc....having said that I'm sure the officer did the best they could under the circumstance and while that doesn't bring relief in the moment, knowing the animal was put to sleep in the end is a good thing. I'm so sorry you had to experience this.
Knowing you and your love for the wild kingdom (Goddess knows too) may healing begin now with you, your wild ones, and your garden. (((((Sending you big hugs and lots of healing energy)))) Much love, Akasa

Just Rose said...

No one is blessed/cursed with the ability to know without fail what the results of their action or inaction will be. Your intention was to prevent further suffering. You cannot second guess yourself.

You could perform a ritual to cleanse your garden and perhaps that will soothe your soul. You could hold both the spirit of the raccoon and the officer up for healing.