I have a book signing tomorrow (Saturday) in Portland at the St. Johns Bookstore at 10:30am that I have been looking forward to for weeks. It’s a cute little independently owned shop and the farmer’s market will be going on just a block away. Our original plan was to stay up for a long weekend with friends and family. After yesterday’s raccoon attack, I’m going up on my own now just for the day.

I have a nice sunburn from spending all day yesterday reinforcing the duck house. I decided it was high time it get painted, so they are sporting a hot pick flop house now. I built a sturdier door with one of those “smart” hook fasteners. You have to pull back a spring on it to open it, which is strong and kind of hard for me to even open easily.

The rest of the day I spent near the ducks, trying to get them more used to me. I spent $25 bucks on these fancy dried mealworms, hoping to bribe their trust. It’s going slowly, but I am determined to get them more comfortable with us. My initial reaction was to just “let them be”, but that meant not forcing them into their house at night. And we all know how that ended.

They made it into the duck house last night after about 15 minutes of gentle herding. There were treats for them inside and I’m hoping they fall into the habit every evening with me.

I woke up twice last night. Once at 1:00am and could see the stinker out there, so I chased him off with a pitch fork. Lovely sight I am sure… Then again at 4:00am, but no sign of the raccoon. A friend offered us a trap to use, so we could release him into the wild. We’d still have to worry about future predators, but the successful one would be gone. Haven’t made my mind up yet.

This morning I woke to find that Bertie had been returned. I didn’t take a picture because it was too sad. She was still in one piece, but her bones had been picked clean. I don’t get that? Why would a predator bring her back? To finish his meal maybe hoping to get a seconds? Ew, so sad and gross.

I’m just to shaken still to leave them overnight, but am hopeful things get better and we can rely on neighbors to close them up and let them out when we are gone. It’s disappointing to cut my time in Portland so short. But I am happy to still have a fun signing tomorrow morning and spend the afternoon picking strawberries with a friend, then head back and stake out that raccoon for another night. If you’re in town, stop by and say hello!

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Written by Renee Wilkinson