Wouldn’t “Ferret Chase” be a good name for a historical romance character? For instance, the cute and mischievous best friend of the aloof love interest? The creator of farcical situations by which our two meet-cutes are forced to admit their feelings for each other?
As it stands, Ferret Chase is what I call a recent encounter with a nocturnal creature. Walking Buffy at night is usually very pleasant. Our neighbors are very enthusiastic about their decorative lighting, including inflatable lawn ornaments.
Unfortunately Buffy is quite frightened of inflatable lawn ornaments. Look at her face at Easter:
So one night we went for our walk and she stopped about four houses down and stared hard at the neighbor’s inflatable Christmas helicopter. (Who knew there was such a thing?)
I cooed, “It’s ok, Buffy.” And then a little animal jumped out of the bushes and ran across the lawn at Buffy. I thought it was a brave and friendly possum. I calmly held on to Buffy’s leash on case she decided to lunge at the interloper. The animal and Buffy sniffed curiously at each other and then it occurred to me that a possum that approached a person was possibly rabid so I tried to walk back to the house and it followed us so I hissed, “No! Go away!” I was afraid to disturb the neighbors if I screamed because it was a bit late. I couldn’t scream anyway. This is how I discovered that when I’m truly scared I don’t do that awesome blood curdling horror movie scream. I squeak. Like Mariah Carey whistling the high notes.
The squeaking did not deter the tiny friendly beast so I shined my keychain maglite at it and it rose up on his hind legs curiously. I turned on my phone light and after a few seconds it gave up on Buffy and ran across the street into another neighbor’s driveway. So dragged Buffy the opposite way down the street. I made sure to walk past our house in case it was watching us, because I didn’t want it to know where we lived, and I doubled back after a few minutes.
Did I think I could trick an animal with such sinister designs to stalk my dog? Of course not. In fact, the futility of my ruse was revealed a few mornings later when Buffy and I were playing in the backyard. Here comes what I now know to be a ferret wandering onto the lanai. Buffy gave it a sniff and we went into the house.
Mike tried to trap the ferret with a slice of lunchmeat but the ferret managed to pull the lunchmeat out from the side without even going through the door. We haven’t seen it since so I hope it found its way back home. I think it was lonely.