Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Rats in a Minnesota mailbox and another scary animal story February 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 9:03 AM

RATS POOPING in a rural Fergus Falls mailbox, an unidentified animal pooping on a rug in a Vesta garage…

What’s with these Minnesota animals? Have they, like most Minnesotans, been pushed to near insanity by this eternally long winter? That would be my explanation.

But you decide as you consider these two stories:

The first comes from rural Fergus Falls where, on Monday afternoon, a woman discovers two domesticated rats inside her mailbox. They have chewed on, pooped on and peed on her mail.

And, no, she claims, she did not order the rats.

The second story comes from my hometown of Vesta, where an unidentified animal deposits a pile of poop on a door mat inside a garage. This would be my mom’s garage.

As Mom tells the story, she discovers the poop pile of unknown origin, cleans up the mess and later finds another pile of s**t on the same exact spot. This leaves her mystified and a bit frightened of the possibly dangerous creature lurking in the dark corners of her single car garage.

Fearing others may think her crazy, my mom leaves the second poop pile untouched. She wants/needs/desires confirmation of its existence, and my ex-sister-in-law, who stops by to pick up a cake pan, walks right into the mess. Well, not literally.

As the two ponder whether an opossum might be holed up inside, their anxiety level rises. But they manage to clean up the scat and lay down newspaper. Or maybe my mom places newspaper down after the first accident. I don’t recall the exact sequence of the garage-tidying.

Whatever, the pair decides to leave any animal hunt until daybreak since they really don’t want to face a petulant possum in the darkness of night.

The next day, my mom calls in the reinforcements, meaning she phones her brother-in-law and sister-in-law, who live a block away. Milan arrives armed with a baseball bat. Jeanette just walks right into the garage and starts poking around. I’m not certain where my mom is stationed at this point. But I will assume away from dark corners.

In short order, brave, brave Jeanette scares an animal out of a corner. A small cat streaks across the garage and through the open overhead garage door, quick as a flash of lightning. Both Jeanette and my mom note that the cat has a short tail and is, clearly, not an opossum.

Now, I’m wondering, has anyone seen a small short-tailed cat zipping northwest towards Fergus Falls?

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling