Technically, he was an ermine when we first met him, but he changed his colors in the subsequent months until he revealed himself for the weasel he really was. So what happen to him? Follow me beyond the tangerine hedgerow and I will tell you.
My husband noticed him first, down in the kitchen making a late night snack. “I saw something down there, but not really. Something kept popping up, disappeared, & popped up somewhere else.”
“Popped? Like ‘pop goes the weasel’? Like the one you saw when you used to cut firewood, until it stopped being fun?” (Seriously. When we first moved out here he thought it would be “fun” to cut firewood. In those pre-You Tube days, we found a VHS tape of Monty Python with “The Lumberjack Song” on it, he would go out the door singing “I’m a lumberjack, I’m OK”. Until his back started bothering him, & we learned he had spinal stenosis, and eventually surgery.) He came inside one day talking about some critter popping up & down in the tall grass, and I guessed it was probably a weasel. Later I spotted a dead one in the barn, and confirmed my suspicion.
At any rate, there was a critter in the house, too big to be a mouse, wrong color to be a rat, mole, or vole. Finally I saw him, cute as a button, as you can plainly see:
About the same size as a 13 boot.
The kitchen garbage can has a hinged lid, no barrier for a hungry weasel. We eat a lot of chicken, and he loved chicken bone marrow, or what ever he ate off them. I would find old bones in my sons room under his dresser, but he just shrugged it off. My older daughter & my 4 grandkids thought it was neat. My younger daughter, who loves animals, but not necessarly critters, said, “Well, if you guys are happy….” And we had no more mice that winter, and the weasel disappeared when the snow was all gone.
My husband even bought a humane trap and a hamster cage with an exercize wheel. I was skeptical, but you can’t tell him, he has to find out for himself. Sure enough, when he caught the weasel, it fought against the cage so hard he hurt himself & bled a little bit, & my spouse wisely set him free. The weasel didn’t seem to hold it against us, though, and we settled into a routine with our new, free range pet.
Then one day driving to work, I noticed what looked like a fan of crow tail or wing feathers fluttering down around the front grill of my car. Did I hit a bird & not notice it? If it was embeded in the grill, I should have felt it. The fan seemed to flutter in the breeze, but there was no harm, so I just kept driving. Then…POP WENT THE WEASEL! Right in front of my face on the outside of the windshield! OMG WHAT THE HELL! Now what do I do? Turn around & take him home? What if his tail gets caught in a belt? I don’t want him to get hurt. As soon as I safely could I pulled off the road.
Now what? I was next to a cemetary, with woods all around it. Well, he could make his new home here, or find his way back “home” like some weaselly Lassie. I threw the hood up, he saw his chance, & fled down the sleeve of the hood arm into the inside of the car. (I momentarily considered driving home with him scampering about my feet, then decided not to chance it.) I opened the front passenger door and he ran to the driver’s side. I opened the front driver’s door & he jumped over the arm rest between the front seats into the back. OK, this was getting really, really. I threw open one back door, then the other, half pissed no one would stop and ask if I needed help, half praying no one would so I wouldn’t have to explain my predicament. With the last door open, he jumped out & ran off. And we never saw him again.
I still miss him. We get mice again when it gets cold outside. We keep pet rabbits like most normal people keep pet cats or dogs, but, guess what? One cold morning I went out into the living room and saw a mouse scamper along the wall. I stared accusingly at the rabbits and said “What’s wrong with you? Go get it!” [FACEPALM] Oh, that’s right. You’re rabbits.