Sunday, November 16, 2014

An animal answer

The Complete and Total Loser's neighborhood has changed since he grew up in it in the sixties. 
It's still made up of mostly well-to-do whites, though now they're whites who grew up in the suburbs, not ones who emigrated from the city, like the Loser's parents and neighbors. The population has burgeoned, but the proportion of whites to other races is probably about the same as it was.
The change the Loser's talking about is in animals.
When growing up, you'd hear about people seeing an opossum, raccoon, or skunk, but about the only time you'd see one yourself was when it was dead on the road, killed by a night time driver, a college kid, probably. When the Loser was sixteen, a deer vaulted across the road he and a friend were driving on. They were so excited by the rare vision they went to the area the next day to look for its tracks, as if to prove to themselves it had been real. 
It's different now. 
Since summer, the Loser has caught four raccoons (the most recent just yesterday), two skunks, an opossum and the same feral cat twice. Deer often hang out in his back yard for hours at a time. Last night, the Loser shone a flashlight out back and two pairs of deer eyes glowed back. Both had laid down, ready for a cold November night.
One word explains the change. Dogs.
When the Loser was a kid, dogs were never leashed in the suburbs. They ran free, got in fights, killed animals or, if they found an already dead animal, rolled around on its corpse. Seldom neutered, the males would disappear for days at a time, traveling for miles to mate with a bitch in heat. The Loser's dog did this into his sixteenth year, returning hungry and grinning. His DNA is in a lot of dogs by now. 
Now, of course, everyone's so timid and litigious that the idea of a child being nipped by a dog and the packs of personal injury lawyers has made that impossible. Any dog just roaming a neighborhood is assumed to be feral, maybe even rabid. 
So the animals run free, with no natural predators except maybe a fox or two and, of course, cars, their primary foe.
buck deer
If the Loser knew how to hunt and butcher deer, he'd have to buy a meat locker.

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