I just got home from releasing an animal into the wild, that is, the woods behind our local grocery store.
Driving there, I could hear it scrabbling against the sides of the canister in which I had trapped it. The lid was on tight. I had made sure of that.
Pulling around to the back of the store, I could see a couple of animals of my own species unloading trucks. Figuring that the animal who manages the store might not appreciate me releasing my captive near his back door, I parked a discreet distance away.
I stepped from the car, with the canister. Removing the lid first, I tossed it as far as I could out among the pine trees.
Twenty minutes earlier the animal had been sitting in my kitchen drawer, caught by the tip of its tail in the trap my own animal mate had set for it. There were three other traps around the kitchen. Two on the floor were still set, bait untouched. The third held a dead animal, crushed by the neck; I picked that one up and buried it in a bag of trash.
The live animal in the drawer presented a problem. How should I remove it, and then what should I do with it?
I decided the quickest way to dispatch it would be to drop it into a bucket of water. The trap would serve as weight to hold it under until it drowned. But when I went to scoop it into the canister, it pulled itself free of the trap and then sat there, staring up at me. It never even tried to run.
I abandoned the drowning idea. Without the weight of the trap, how long might it desperately tread water before it finally weakened and sank? The thought horrified me. Thus it was that I ended it up freeing it behind a store a mile from my house.
On the way back home I saw a large antlered animal, dead by the side of the road. It had died — this was virtually certain — when it leaped in front of a vehicle driven by one of my own fellow animals.
When I walked into my house I was greeted by another animal, but this one I would never drown or take to the woods and leave it. It sat there staring up at me, wagging its tail. I patted it on its head and then checked to see that it had water and food in its bowls.
That’s the end of that story, except for Googling to learn if the kind of animal I trapped and released has a homing instinct, and if so — how far can it travel? Then I’ll turn my mind to other things.
Such as: Are there any animal parts in the refrigerator I can have for lunch?