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Letter from the Front #2

Illustration for article titled Letter from the Front #2

Its been a few weeks since I have declared war on the rats in my back yard, and they are proving to be a worthy adversary. They have moved from my fence and taken full control of my back yard shortly before sun down, and they are more clever than I anticipated.

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Even before they got used to my nightly downpour of BBs they moved in such a way that made them difficult for me to hit. The rats dashed from flower pot to under a lawn chair, then darting to another piece of cover. As good a shot as I think I am, I still can't hit a rat on the run, so these tactics were VERY EFFECTIVE against me from my perch on the high ground.

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As the nights progressed and my reactions more keen, they started darting straight across the back yard from one flower bush to the other, fast as lasers, without fiddling around in the center of the yard like they used to. The quickest Call of Duty 13 year old warlord doesn't have the speed or coordination to shoot a sprinting rat at that pace. I couldn't even bring the sight to my eye before they were hidden in the vegetation. Desperate, I would fire a shot into the bush where they disappeared. The rat would start chattering loudly. Chi-chi-chi-chi-chi! I can't tell what they are doing. Part of me worries they are communicating to the other rats, shouting, "Yo, guys! That asshole is back! Keep your heads down and be careful." Then I wonder if that sound is the rat laughing at me, delighting in my slow moving human hands.

Though I'm losing ground to the rats right now, I have made progress against the raccoons. One night I was out smoking a cigarette and looking for rats, as I do every night, when I noticed two raccoons staring down at me from the stairs above. I marched up and cornered them behind my neighbors BBQ and took aim. I didn't want to seriously hurt them, so I shot both of them in the butt. They didn't hiss at me or even jump, but they both quickly squirmed away and moved past me down the stares as far as they could from me. Even though they didn't seem to notice when I shot them before, no raccoon has entered my back yard or the stairway since then.

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I didn't want to go this route, but I think I'm going to start baiting the rats so that I can get them to stand still in the open for a few seconds. If I don't pull out some sort dirty trick the rats will be in my bedroom before I know it. The rats seem to be smart enough that if I kill one, maybe the others will know to surrender and leave my back yard alone. Wish me luck, comrades.

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