Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Trapper Keeper Marriage

It’s funny the things you learn about a person after you’ve married them.
Super funny.
So funny that Cody nor I were laughing last night as we discussed the coon trapping binge I’ve been on for a few weeks.

Let me back up.

We’ve had unwelcome visitors in our feed room recently. 
They trespass.
They dig.
They rip.
They self-serve.
They have destroyed several perfectly good bags of feed.

After consulting strangers, friends and relatives regarding bait,  I set the trap and anxiously (weird, I know) awaited results. I’ve gotten into the routine of going to the barn first thing in the morning to check the live trap. I report back to Cody our hits or misses.

For as successful as we’ve been (we’ve been feeding a small nocturnal army for some time, apparently), Cody just doesn’t seem to get the same satisfaction that I do when there is another free loader caged in our feed room.

The most I've used the garden rake all summer. 

The first raccoon was caught when Cody was out of town and I enlisted my Dad’s help in disposal.  
Fast and Easy.
The second raccoon was caught when Cody was home we had a debate on how dispose of it.

“What’s your deal with not wanting to shoot this coon?!” I feverishly asked him one morning.
“I don’t know. I don’t know what’s happened to me. I’ve gotten soft hearted with age. I used to hunt all the time in Kansas. I loved it,” Cody responded.
I fastened a necklace around my neck and packed up my laptop.
“Whatever. I’ll take care of it when I get home. Don’t even mess with it. It’s a rodent. A thief  And it’s eating our cattle feed. I’ll kill him, no problem.”
Cody poured my coffee into an insulated mug.
Slow and steady.
I strangely wished I could be more like him. 
Meanwhile, I was rushing through the house like a tornado in heels.
“Geeeezo preezo (a coined Cody Sankey phrase). I had no idea that I had married a cold blooded killer.”
I lost it.
“Well I had no idea I married a woman!”
We both laughed.
And said our PS Prayers. Much needed.

Cody confirmed that he’d get rid of of the coon before I got home that night.
And he did.

Two nights later I walked out to the barn in the pouring rain to set the trap again. Cody advised against it. I, however, was on a roll. I followed Uncle Hal’s advice and used sardines.
We caught another one.
A huge one.

Cody was less thrilled than I.
With little discussion, he told me he’d again take care of it.

Fast forward to yesterday.
That is when I gathered bait to catch creeper number four and Cody remarked that we should give the trapping a rest until we knew we still had an issue.
In return, I gave him a quick – but passionate - synopsis of the value in being proactive rather than reactive.
In one ear, out the other.

“I just don’t like the look they give me when they're in the cage,” he said.
“Like…..just put the bullet in their head. I promise they’ll close their eyes.”
He didn’t say much. I felt kind of mean, raw.
“Did you shoot the last one? I didn’t see your gun out,” I asked.

Game changing question.

I could tell by the look on Cody’s face that he wanted to tell me something but he was afraid to do so. 
It was the exact same look he gave me when he reveled that he forgot to bring home The Show Malbec wine during his last trek to Michigan.

“Cody. Did you shoot the last raccoon?”
“What do you mean?”
“Cody. Did you shoot the last raccoon?”
“Why does this matter?”
At this point I didn’t know if I was dealing with Cody Sankey or Rachel Dolezal.
“Cody. Did you shoot the last raccoon?”
“I got rid of him. Don’t worry about it.”
“Is it dead?”
“He took a ride and a fall.”

I was furious.
I took off my earrings and stomped upstairs. He stood at the base of the steps and called up, asking why I was so upset about disposal of a stupid raccoon.

“Because! I worked hard to catch them and you apparently load them in the bed of your truck and take them on a joy ride. Then give them a head pat. And a scratch behind the ears. Then turn them loose!” I yelled down. I could almost see him smiling at the base of the steps.
No bueno.

“No offense, (I took offense as soon as he said that) but all you really did was grease the cage and throw some salty fish in it. The cage did all the work.”
I didn’t know if I should laugh at his joke or ring his neck. I decided to put on barn clothes instead.
I responded with Silence.
That’s powerful.

After my blood pressure leveled out and Cody got done with a customer phone call I gently – this took effort – asked him where the raccoon was? Did he drown it? Shoot it? Throw it off of a bridge? Tie fireworks to his back? Hang it from a tree?
I strangely had to know.

This is where I stopped dead in my boots and thought maybe I should listen to his reasoning.
“Linds, I am not kidding when I say that the raccoon gave me puppy dog eyes when I went out to shoot it.”
Right here.
This is when I asked myself: Who did I marry?
The Cody at the alter was gravel voiced and calloused and rugged and hardy.
Two years later he’s standing in the kitchen telling me about a heart-to-heart he had with a dirty raccoon.

“It like scooted back in it’s cage and stared at me. And I knew I wouldn’t feel good about shooting it. So I loaded it up, told it not to come back to Wayne County and drove it across two county lines and dumped it. It jumped off the tailgate. It was really fat.”

I stared blankly at the man I love so much.
Thinking of how much I wanted to kill him.

I don’t remember my response. 
I do remember walking out to the garden to weed, water and pick.
I walked back to the house to get gloves.
I trap. He keeps.

"This marriage deal,” I began as Cody made his way to the barn. “I learned today that I’m the trapper and you’re the keeper. We’re no longer BowSankey. Two years into this forever deal and we’re now TrapperKeeper.”

"There are worse things, I guess," he responded. 
Slow and steady. 
I strangely wished I could be more like him. 
Balance, my friends, is everything.

I am the trapper.
He is the keeper.
Together, we will change the world.

Or, at least waste expensive diesel fuel to 
transport fat rodents from 
one county to the next.
In the spirit of saving their souls. 

Don’t even get me started. 


  1. DEAR LORD!! I'm literally dying of laughter here. We don't have many raccoons, but rabbits.. oy! My husband will literally run to the house to grab his gun to get rid of them. I, on the other hand, I'm the one wishing we could tame them, convince the dogs they're not play things and bring them into the house! I guess that makes us a TrapperKeeper couple too!

    1. I don't think we have a rabbit problem but I'll keep my eye out for them after reading this! EEK!

  2. I'm giggling out loud as I read this. I was raised to trap and shoot thebdedtructive little buggers! My man puzzle, a veterinarian, is more a catch and release kind of guy. I'm constantly teasing (sort of) him that he's better not release them over my way because we're not as soft hearted as him. For a time being it did make me question the possible longevity of our relationship, but I think I'd be content in a trapper-keeper relationship. :-)

    1. :) sometimes we just have to roll with the punches. I can't wait to see how even more "soft hearted" he becomes after we start a family!