Saturday, June 18, 2011
the game is afoot
There is a thief amongst us.
About a month ago I bought a bag of dog food that I would mete out to some of the skinny dogs I would see in rural areas. It was not much, but it looked to be the best meal that some of them had had in some time.
When the rear window of my truck was broken, I unloaded several items to get them out of the way of the window repairmen. The bag of dog food along with my sleeping bag and snorkel gear.
Thursday afternoon I noticed the dog food bag had been tampered with. My thought was a stray cat had probably got into it. Even though I was a bit surprised because it had a seal strip – and cats are not well-known for opening sealed packages. Eat through them – yes. But not open them.
Friday morning I found the bag half way across the patio. Fully open. And empty. Some creature had a good night of eating.
I decided to throw the bag away and put my sleeping bag and snorkel gear back in the truck. That was when I had my own Special Agent Gibbs moment from NCIS. If I had been a crime scene investigator, the first thing I would have looked for would have been fingerprints.
And there they were. On my sleeping bag. I may as well have had a photograph of the culprit.
Well, I do have a photograph. Not one of mine. But here is one of his kin.
It is a coatimundi. A white-nosed coatimundi to be more accurate. Or, according to my Mexican neighbors, a tejón – a badger – which it is not. But it is better than what one of the alcoholic expatriates in town thinks they are. He insists they are baboons.
What they are is a cousin to the raccoon. Not only do they bear some resemblance to raccoons, they also can get into exactly the same mischief as the raccoons in my Salem neighborhood. Filching dog food being very close to the top of the list.
I would really like to see one. Of course, that would mean staying up most of the night. Like vampires and cats, coatimundi in this area are primarily creatures of the night.
But I will do almost anything to please my readers. Almost.