Husband is a pretty brave guy….generally. In the forty some years we’ve been together nothing much strikes fear in him.
I learned this fact quite some time ago. And after I stopped laughing (…..I’m sensitive that way….) he told me why.
To earn his Eagle Boy Scout badge he and his troop had to dismantle and pack up the scout camp for the winter. It was a multiple day endeavor and they had to ‘rough it’ camping outside. No big deal for boy scouts. When the day’s work was done they snuggled into their sleeping bags and went to sleep.
Sometime during the night a curious raccoon wandered into the campsite. For some reason the raccoon thought perhaps Husband was hiding something good to eat in his sleeping bag and climbed on top of Husband’s chest to check it out, at which point Husband woke up (he has always been a VERY sound sleeper) coming face to face with the raccoon!
He did what any self respecting boy scout would do having just woken up out of a sound sleep coming face to face with a wild beast….he screamed like a girl and scrambled out of his sleeping bag.
(At this point of the story I usually have tears streaming down my cheeks I’m laughing so hard….)
Evidently this wasn’t the reaction the raccoon was expecting and it ran off into the woods…..but Husbands screams woke the other campers. I’m sure there was much laughter and teasing which is probably the core of Husbands dislike and fear of raccoons. Not so much the cute little masked creatures themselves but the humiliation of the aftermath of the experience.
Fast forward to the first night in our newly purchased house.
We’re sitting on the couch having just gotten home from working the night shift. It’s one AM and we’re having dinner…bowls of cereal because we haven’t unpacked anything yet. We’re facing the window, which has no curtain.
Suddenly we hear a scritchy scratchy noise coming from the attic. We pause and listen…..like in a bad 80’s horror movie we look up and follow the noise as it moves across the roof……
At this point my imagination is running wild! The house has been vacant for many months and in my mind I’m thinking someone has been squatting in the house and now they are looking to get away…..
We both just sit there, like a paused video, our spoons halfway to our mouths and suddenly we see IT…..a black rump slowly shimmying down the tree inches outside the window…… I elbow Husband to do something but he just sits there, paralyzed with fear.
It really does look like a human rump…but as it continues down the trunk of the tree it becomes apparent it’s just a raccoon….and an old tired, slow moving one at that!
I relax and start to laugh but Husband is still totally incapacitated! It’s the only time I have ever seen him afraid of anything.
And that’s the first time I heard the story of the ‘Nocturnal Succubus’ of his youth.