Re: Free Patch
Jim Beesley (Hoowah6@AOL.COM)
Mon, 19 Jun 1995 18:13:32 -0400
This may not qualify for a patch, but here is a story for you to share with
When I was a young captain in the Army, my family and I lived in the Mojave
Desert at Fort Irwin, California. One day, my wife said, "Jim, come look,
it's a little weasel!". Now, I was of the opinion that there weren't many
weasels in the midst of the desert, but I went and looked anyway. I saw my
wife with my (at tthe time) youngest son in her arms, bent waaaaaay over
looking at this little slender furry rodent-looking thing. Although it was
smaller than most I had seen "back east", from the razor sharp claws and it's
general "leave me alone" attitude, I reckoned it to be a BADGER! Now, for
those of you who don't know what a badger is, it is something like a
Tasmanian Devil but with more attitude. So I told my wife to calmly and
slowly come back in the house and not to dangle anything too close to the
Badger, like for instance her arms or the baby. By the time I got this out
of my mouth, she was behind me, having leaped about twelve feet in one
The best thing to do then, was to call the Military Police who handled Animal
Control and have them come over to round up this little badger who had
probably strayed down from the surrounding hills in search of food.
In the mean time, my neighbor had come out to see what was going on. As I
approached I noticed that she had a plastic laundry basket and was calling,
"Here, Kitty-kitty" to the badger. I told her that the course of action she
was on was probably not the best use of her time, as the badger would
probably gnaw right through that clothes basket and commence gnawing right up
her arm. She, having had that explained, apparently agreed with me because
she gave a little yelp and dropped the basket. She jumped back about the
same ten feet my wife had, and the badger cast a glance at her like "Whaddya
want?", and ambled away around the corner of her house.
Now, she was not the world's best housekeeper, bless her heart, and her
children were a little, well, wild. Ok, they were horrible. And they had
managed to rip the screen door off her house. So, the badger ambled around
her house towards her -open- back door.
"Kill it!" she yelled, at me, I suppose. I was reluctant to try to harm
this poor creature for several reasons, two of which were:
A) This was one of God's creatures that did not deserve to die, and
B) I might only wound it and then it would commence to gnaw up my arm as I
had described for her earlier.
So I inquired as to whether or not her children (the horrible ones) were
inside the house. I was more fearful for the badger at tthat point than her
kids :). She said, "No, they're not here" So I just shut the back door,
trapping the badger inside the house.
About that time the MPs arrived, one carrying a BIG net and the other with
one of those loops on a stick that dog catchers use. Since I was the senior
officer on the scene (a dubious honor, i assure you) they wanted me to
accompany them into the house. I did so reluctantly, I assure you.
We opened the door. My neighbor had been drying clothes in the clothes dryer
by the back door, and the badger, seeking the warmth of the newly dried
clothes, had crawled up into the open door of the dryer. From my vantage
point, all I could see was a littttle bitty black nose sticking out. Well,
of course the obvious solution would have been to slam the door and put him
on "fluff" dry for about thirty minutes. But that wasn't the sporting thing
to do, as it wouldn't have done much for the badger's already rotten
disposition or for the clothes, either.
So one of the MP's reaches out with the net and pins the badger down. The
net, however, was desighed for big dogs and not little badgers so the badger
hissed at him and slipped out of the net. By this time we are all starting
to get a little nervous, as we are in close proximity to an extremely ticked
off critter with (As I have said) razor sharp claws. So the second MP, the
Sargeant, reaches down with that little loop on the end of a stick like the
dog catcher uses, snares the badger and says to the other MP, the Private,
"OK, grab him"
Now, I've never been accused of being too terribly bright but as I looked att
the wriggling, squirming, twisting, writhing, biting, hissing badger on the
end of the stick, I figured that grabbing it was probably not too good an
idea. Apparently the private didn't think much of that idea, either. He
looked at his sergeant and said, "Sarge, y'all must be from the city! I
ain't grabbin' that thing!" Which was probably the smartest thing that
anyone had done all day.
Well, the sergeant tightened up on that noose a little, and although the
badger was still twisting, and turning, and writhing and hissing and biting,
they managed to get it out of the house. My last view of the badger was as
it twisted on the end of the stick as the MPs drove away to release it,
unharmed, in the desert.
Remember, wild animals are wild. Don't try this yourself at home, these
people were (sort of) professionals!
This story was told at a campfire at the Fall 93 camporee, Big Piney
District, Ozarks Council BSA. The views expressed are purely my own and are
as close to the truth as a good campfire story will allow. No real MPs were
harmed in the making of this story.
Houston TX 77015
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City