How a Groundhog Turned into a Raccoon


be anxious for nothingA few weeks ago, my son came into the house explaining that a creature had run across our deck while he was shutting off the sprinkler. My first words of “What did it look like?” were met with a response that resembles so many teenager responses, “I don’t know.”

As the fear rose from my toes into my chest, with heart palpitating, I went outside looking for the Loch Ness Monster. Since my son said it ran under the shed, I fixed my eyes there. It was not long before I saw the creature peeking out. Within minutes, he’d made his way out from under the shed, down the embankment, into my yard.

Fear turned into panic and within seconds, I was on the phone with Animal Control praying they would beam over to my house, trap the intruder and put him back where he belonged. Antarctica.

When Trapper John arrived, he quickly evaluated the situation. I showed him a picture of the suspect and Punxsutawney Phil’s cousin was ID’d. A few days later, traps were in position and the countdown began.

As I watched nearly every wildlife creature known to man feast on the veggie bounty left in the traps, they remained empty of Woody Woodchuck until…

I awoke one morning to a screeching sound. As I made my way downstairs, what to my wondering eyes did appear? Not Woody Woodchuck. Not even Sam Skunk. Nope – it was Rocky Raccoon. (I find it odd that I am naming these creatures. Need to look into that.)

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The panic that ensued was none other than apocalyptic. Back on the phone to Trapper John to save the day. As I hung up the phone, I looked out my window only to find Ricky Raccoon meandering across my deck, stopping to sniff his trapped peep, turn and walk away. This leaves Rocky in a state of hysteria and the screeching, scratching and clawing escalates.

“How rude!” I thought. He just left his buddy there. He didn’t attempt to comfort him with a little touch of his paw or make a softer screechy noise to calm him. Nope – Rocky was left in the dust.

Shortly after, Trapper John’s very handsome son arrived and proceeded to give me my options. He could take him away for X dollars but he’d have to kill him. Yikes. Or he could let him go on the property for free. I wasn’t looking for ‘raccoon killer’ to be added to my list of titles, but I also wanted him evicted.

Rocky was let go and quickly returned to his home below the rocks in my back yard. Traps were removed and I was told it was unlikely he’d return simply due to the trauma experienced on my property.


Life has resumed in the Covello household though with a bit more caution as we walk outside.

I realize that tales of wildlife seem an odd topic in a parenting blog but as you know, I look for the lessons in everyday life and Woody, Rocky and Ricky were my teachers these past couple of weeks.

These creatures were simply minding their own business, heads down in their daily (or nightly) routines until in an instant, their lives changed forever. Woody Woodchuck had been found out. Rocky Raccoon had been trapped. Ricky – well, he’s just a loser for not helping out his friend.

It’s likely they were unprepared for these events. They had no Plan B. There was no discussion around the family table about what to do if you get trapped on the property of a crazy single mom with fears of being attacked by woodland creatures. They had no clue about their future. They just took things day by day.

My family is facing a few Plan B’s right now. As previously stated, I’m in an unemployed status looking for a new career. My son, who’d dipped his foot in the community college pool, has come to the realization that this path is not for him.

We are both facing our respective Plan B’s. He for the first time, me for the…well, not first. Choices abound for both of us though his choices can be made under the protective watch of his mom who is paying his bills. Mine? Well, let’s just say there’s no trust fund paying my expenses right now.

Do we follow our hearts where passions and dreams live? Do we follow our heads, the home of logic and security?

I’ve followed the logical path all of my life. It has brought me much success and I’ve been able to support myself and my family because of it. But like my pal, Rocky Raccoon, I’m feeling trapped, trying to claw my way out of a tough situation. Unlike him, I have peeps who are supporting me and not leaving me for dead. However, despite their emotional support, it will not be they who have to make tough decisions.

For my son, we have decided to simply take a break. He is focusing on his driver’s test this week and his continued efforts at work to save up for a car. In other words, he is taking it one day at a time.

Good idea.

I will focus on today and today alone. I will not think about next month’s mortgage payment or cell phone bill. I will focus on my time today – enjoying the beautiful summer weather and being grateful that my children and I are in good health.

Besides, it’s my belief that God is in control and He’s got my back. As I keep my ears and heart open to His guidance, He’ll figure out a way to unlock the trap and set me free.

Take that Rocky.

Jen’s Gem: Living in the present moment eliminates the worries of tomorrow.

Jennifer Covello is a mom, an award-winning author, and freelance writer. In addition to her weekly blog, she has authored several articles that have been published digitally and offline and has been a contributing author to several books currently being sold on Amazon. A purpose-driven communicator, Jennifer delivers messaging that educates and inspires.

Posted in Parenting Teens, Spiritual Parenting Tagged with: , ,

About Jennifer Joyce Covello

The posts you will read are about my life and my encounters with God’s grace as I walk along the narrow path of His purpose for me. Some days I do it really well. Others, uh….not so much. That’s ok. God loves me on my good and bad days! ... read more

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