Kittens, a coon, and a big, pink Christmas pig

By TIM BEELAND,

Almost overnight Christmas arrived in the city of Forest and it certainly looks festive. The downtown lamp posts wrapped up with garland and bows and the holiday flags are definitely a welcoming sight. To add to the excitement, the Christmas parade is Friday and the season will be officially ushered in under the twinkle of the overhead lights. We welcome it.

At our house the Christmas pig is glowing brightly on the new back porch and that is a first for us. It started out as a Thanksgiving pig and along with the transition from turkey and dressing to eggnog and gingerbread, a Santa hat, bejeweled with the name Princess, turned that big ole pig into a holiday hog.

Christmas pig, you might ask?

Well of course Christmas pig!

It all started the day before Thanksgiving while looking through the load of shopping circulars in this newspaper. There was one from the Tractor Supply store here in Forest and as I flipped through the pages my eyes immediately transfixed on a pink light-up pig — actually it is more like the size of a hog ready for the butcher — in the exterior decorations department. It was also on sale with a 30 percent discount.

There was only one on the shelf when I burst though the front doors and that pig now lives happily on the back porch. Princess is not alone out there. There are two kittens that appeared one day last month and they seem to like resting on the back of the hog.

There has also been a very large raccoon back there that will stare down a human while it steals the cats’ food most every night. We had been out of town for the weekend and when we arrived back home Sunday afternoon I went out to plug in the pig and feed the kittens and the whole bucket of cat food was gone,  including the bucket.

I searched the porch, both up on top and underneath, and wandered around the yard in search of the big white chlorine container full of cat food. It was nowhere to be found. It is a big bucket mind you.

I explained to my wife that the bucket was gone and she said it’s the raccoon without any hesitation. So back out to the yard I headed again in search of some lunch for those poor little critters. Eventually as I scoured the edge of the bamboo woods I spotted something white and plastic-looking and sure enough my search came to an end.

Those buckets may be child proof but rest assured they are not coon proof. Fortunately he had not eaten everything and the kittens got to fill their bellies before going back to groom themselves on Princess’s back.

Stupidly, I must admit, I somehow didn’t realize that if I left the bucket on the back porch that the coon would return. That is, however, what I did. That is also why we were awakened in the middle of the night Sunday, as visions of sugar plums danced in our heads, when out on the back porch there arose such a clatter as that big ole raccoon tried to fill up his supper platter.

Wife, Danny, arose and put on her slippers, and watched that big coon drag the bucket down the steps as it wrestled with the lid when the porch light came on. “What you doing,” I asked from the comfort of bed. “I saved the cat food from the coon,” was all that she said, and we settled back down to rest our weary heads.

Come morning poor ole Princess was laid over on her side from a fight with the coon because the cat food was inside. And now at this point I am of the opinion that it may be a long month of December with a coon and a hog and two wild little kittens!

Did I mention the baby possum.....