Island Life: Oh This Serene Rural Paradise

Photo by jaimy van kessel on Unsplash

It was a strange sound, an animal sound. Perhaps even an animal-in-distress sound? It wasn’t a bird, we thought, probably, though it was a little screechy-chittery like a bird.

I heard it when I got up in the morning, through our bedroom window and through the open bathroom skylight, though there was nothing to see out either of those windows.

I went downstairs. I looked out the front window.

And that’s when I saw the mother raccoon, screeching and chittering as she desperately circled and scratched at and poked at the Hav-A-Heart trap we’d baited with a raw salmon tail.

Read the rest of the story at my website!



About Shannon Page

Shannon Page is a Pacific Northwest author and editor. Her work has appeared in Clarkesworld, Interzone, Fantasy, Black Static,, and many anthologies, including the Australian Shadows Award-winning Grants Pass, and The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk. Books include The Queen and The Tower and A Sword in The Sun, the first two books in The Nightcraft Quartet; novel Eel River; story collection Eastlick and Other Stories; personal essay collection I Was a Trophy Wife; Orcas Intrigue, Orcas Intruder, and Orcas Investigation, the first three books in the cozy mystery series The Chameleon Chronicles, in collaboration with Karen G. Berry under the pen name Laura Gayle; and Our Lady of the Islands, co-written with the late Jay Lake. Our Lady received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, was named one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2014, and was a finalist for the Endeavour Award. Forthcoming books include Nightcraft books three and four; a sequel to Our Lady; and more Orcas mysteries. Edited books include the anthology Witches, Stitches & Bitches and the essay collection The Usual Path to Publication. She practices yoga, gardens, and has no tattoos.


Island Life: Oh This Serene Rural Paradise — 8 Comments

  1. Raccoons are wiley and noisy, but I’m glad Mark did the brave/right thing. But have you ever heard a porcupine cry? It sounds like a baby being tortured. And not in a light-hearted horror novel sort of way.

  2. 3 or 4 years ago we had an infestation of raccoons, feral cats, and coyote pups. It was so bad that Fish and Wildlife gave permission to shoot the critters, not just relocate them.

    Then a cougar moved in with 2 kits. Within weeks we had no more infestation. Then she moved on. Nature’s way.

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