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.