The Rabbit In The Tree

Anyone know a good lawyer? I’m having a property dispute and could really use some advice.

For the past six months we’ve had a squatter. I can’t get rid of him no matter how hard I try. He won’t listen to reason, nor will he accept that we don’t want his kind hanging around our yard. I’ve even threatened him with a weapon broomstick, yet he won’t stay away. He doesn’t say a word though he will share his dislike of me and my dog Pepper with a hiss. I tell him to get the hell out and he just stares at me with eyes all aglow and his pale pointed nose and his long skinny tail slowly curling and uncurling. It’s like he’s challenging me.

I want to banish him from the yard, but have no idea how to accomplish that. Months ago a fight ensued between the wretched animal and Pepper. I thought Pepper emerged unscathed, but soon realized that the albino rat-like creature did get in a few good strikes. Pepper wasn’t hurt too badly, but did come away with a few wounds, both physical and emotional.

I had hoped that would be the end of it. That it moved to a new yard. Preferably one without dogs. Then a few weeks ago, I had Pepper out before bed. All of a sudden I heard a ruckus and Pepper began barking madly and kept jumping at the fence. I looked up and I made eye contact with it. Pepper sat inches away from the fence, inches away from another injury and another bruised ego.

It became a stand-off. It was late. I was tired. I pleaded with Pepper to just give up this one time. I know give up is not in a terrier’s vocabulary. I tried treat which is very much within her realm of cognition. I also used walk as I jiggled her leash. In order to physically grab Pepper I would have had to be literally eye-to-eye with it, so I hesitated. The last thing I needed was it to leap towards me or the dog. Finally Pepper turned around and looked me. Apparently my incessant babbling finally distracted her enough and I was able to grab her and drag her inside.

Last night I once again took Pepper out before bed. She stared at the patio door, trying to will it open with her mind, showing no intention of peeing, when she heard something. As she raced to the back of the yard I thought to myself, oh good, it’s a rabbit. It will slip  through the fence slats, but I know once her feet get wet from the dew, she’ll squat and pee. Then she will race in to get inside for her treat. Instead she ran towards the tall Cyprus tree at the back of the yard. And stayed there. She stood up on her back legs, peering up at the tree branches, completely oblivious to the sound of my voice or the flash from my phone I shined on her.

I am well aware that rabbits don’t climb trees, so I knew I was once again dealing with the ugly intruder. I tiptoed through the wet lawn with just socks on my feet. As I came closer I saw it staring at me once again. He seemed bigger than the last time. Less scared. But I too had less to fear. I was able to move in close and physically carry 40lbs of boneless dog away from danger. She goes completely limp when she doesn’t want to be moved.

Fortunately I’m well practiced with stubborn terriers. I straightened her up and helped her walk towards the door on her back legs to get her inside.

Once in, my wet socks thrown in the laundry room I handed Pepper her treat and patted her on the head, because really she is only doing what any self-respecting terrier must do, keep her domain free of vermin. She just doesn’t comprehend the power of her opponent.

I realize no legitamite attorney would get involved in such a petty case. Maybe I should consider plan B. Does anyone have a good recipe for possum stew?

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