Her daughter didn’t feel well and her husband was tackling some house projects.
As Shannon was singing along in worship, she noticed her neighbor was calling her.
She texted her back stating she was in church and then turned her phone off.
Shannon felt a peace and intention about being at church.
Like she was supposed to be there.
And not in a legalistic sense.
As she was driving down her street after the service, she noticed two cop cars in front of her house.
Her neighbor, baby stroller in tow, was in her front yard.
As Shannon approached him he said,
“Well, it’s over now.”
Or even remotely explanatory.
I’m not sure if I have all this completely straight and in the right order,
but at some point Shannon ran inside to find her daughter pretty shaken up saying,
“Six times! They shot it six times!”
It’s important to mention also that they have
a brand new puppy named Rowan.
Shannon was able to locate Rowan with her daughter safely inside.
She went back outside to her neighbor just in time to see two cops carrying a body bag down her driveway.
One cop still had a gun in his hand pointed down by his side.
I imagine smoke was still coming from it.
Even if it wasn’t,
I still imagine it.
A car slowly drove by as all this was happening.
Shannon wondered to herself what that person in the car was thinking had happened in her backyard.
She didn’t even fully know yet herself.
Of course, I wondered if it was a human body bag.
Which, OF COURSE, it was
because this was the police not animal control.
But I’m getting ahead of myself…
But I’m getting ahead of myself…
So Shannon went to find her husband and get the full story.
He reminded her of their coffee time earlier that morning when they saw a raccoon in their backyard.
Raccoons are NOT a normal presence in our neighborhood.
And they are nocturnal.
Shannon’s husband, noticed right away that the raccoon was acting erratically.
As Shannon was leaving for church he was calling animal services only to find out our town got rid of animal services.
He was told to call the police.
Shannon’s other neighbor (the one who called her during church) was helping her husband track the whereabouts of the rabid raccoon.
After the police arrived,
made sure all the neighbors were safely inside
and the raccoon was cornered,
they took their aim at the varmint.
Just then, Shannon’s husband received a call from the neighbor lady.
She pointed out that the raccoon was right on the location of their buried gas line.
One missed shot could puncture the line.
He was able to get the cop’s attention and ran out to explain the situation.
The puppy, Rowan, decided to follow him into the backyard.
The next thing you know, the rabid raccoon and the puppy Rowan are inches apart in a full-on stare-down.
Shannon’s daughter screamed and Rowan ran to her.
With everyone back inside and away from the gas line,
the police fired at the raccoon.
Apparently, raccoons don’t freeze with their paws up when a gun is pointed at them,
at least not rabid ones,
because the police missed.
A few times.
Raccoons must be cagey when they are slipping into madness.
Six shots later the problem was solved.
Shannon’s church isn’t far from her home
but blessedly out of ear shot.
In my mind I see the juxtaposition of her sitting peaceably in church being enriched in her spirit, feeling close to the Lord, while ALL HELL was breaking loose in her backyard.
I can almost hear the music montage of the movie version.
And that’s a movie I’d pay to see.
When Shannon called to tell me the story we laughed that this sounded like something I would be telling HER because, rabid raccoons in the backyard?
That totally sounds like a Hartranft story.
And you know the raccoon would’ve bitten Monte.
And the 1% chance of a human getting rabies from a rabid raccoon
would’ve turned into a 100% chance for Monte.
I love God’s sense of humor.
But I love EVEN MORE that he spreads
it around to multiple families.
And not just ours.
I got a text from Shannon later in the day after she’d told me "the one about the rabid raccoon.”
It said that the gas company had just spray painted all the areas in her backyard where the lines were buried for the fence that was going to be installed soon.
Shannon said something to effect of,
“Wouldn’t that have been helpful to the police yesterday??”
Of course, I’m like,
“Did they ask about all the blood stains?”