Darlin’ and I live out if not exactly in the middle of nowhere then somewhere near by. We have dogs, cats, roadrunners, quail, rattlesnakes and coyotes. Listening to the coyotes yip and yap at night can be melancholy but I got used to it fairly quickly. Definitely helps set the mood when I’m working on my Civil War era novel. Most of the time I love it. Nearest neighbors are at least a mile away. Some nights, however, it’s scary.
Because there is not much civilization where we live, we seem to be on a path used by two-legged coyotes to haul illegals into Texas. When a member of law enforcement pulls behind their most often stolen truck, the driver of said truck tears off down the road at dangerously high rates of speed. (We’re talking washboarded, pot-holed red dirt roads.) If the officer in pursuit remains on their tails, they crash through my fences or my neighbor’s fences and 18 to 25 illegal immigrants pour from the vehicle, scattering in the brush that surrounds my home. I tell you this not to get a political response, one way or the other, but rather to set a scene. A scene that is all too familiar to those of us living in this area.
Now, on to the E of my post. Two o’clock this morning, I’m tucked snug in my bed, Darlin’ sleeping beside me, when the pungent odor of severely burnt coffee wakes me up. Hank, my cow dog, (yes, I know but that’s what my son named him) began barking and not his normal ‘let’s wake Mommy up’ bark, but rather a deep, ferocious ‘get off my territory’ bark. Well, of course, the first thing I think is ‘oh no! Illegals. They are going to break into the RV sitting across the yard from our cabin and steal food and blankets. I just hope they don’t make a mess.’
These days we just leave the RV unlocked so we don’t have to replace the lock. In the old days, these people would take food, water, blankets and move on. Just this week they’ve broken in to three places near us and stolen iPads, phones and guns. Fortunately law enforcement caught them and they are now enjoying a nice rest in our county jail before being sent back home to Honduras.
Meanwhile, Hank is going crazy and the burnt coffee smell is getting stronger and Darlin’ is sound asleep. I shake him awake. ‘Something’s out there.’ I grab my flashlight and start peering through the windows trying my best to stay behind the wooden window frame of the cabin so no one can shoot me. Paranoid much? Yep, that’s me. Side effect of growing up in a big city and being married to a Sheriff’s Deputy.
Finally I spot the intruder. So much worse than my original fears. This intruder is a healthy male, not dehydrated at all, plump even, wrapped in a delightful coat of black and white. Guessed it yet? You got it, Pepe le Pew had come to play with my cats.
Eau de what? Eau de Skunk! Fortunately, Hank was smart enough to avoid being sprayed and Pepe was gone this morning. Here’s hoping he doesn’t come back tonight.