Raccoons in a tree.

Raccoons in a tree. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Living in the country is wonderful, but one never knows what kind of wildlife will cross one’s path or decide to move in and take refuge from the frigid climate of a midwest winter.  After finally catching the mouse that had been residing in my studio, another critter has invaded our abode.  Catching it (them, if there are more than one) won’t be as easy this time. The saga started at 4:00 A.M. a few days ago when I heard scratching and clawing and what sounded like a marble rolling back and forth in a heating duct in the ceiling above the kitchen, which is below our bedroom.  A nocturnal critter is lurking there and I hope it’s just a large mouse and not a raccoon!  It was definitely having a good time playing with something round that rattled as it rolled. So first thing in the morning I went outdoors to look at the exterior of our house and search for any possible crevice where an animal might have access to entry.  As I was climbing down some rocks and stepped onto the ground, my right foot landed on some frost-covered leaves which were slippery enough to cause my ankle to roll under and emit a crunching sound. After a trip to the emergency room and X-rays that showed I had suffered a sprain (thank goodness it’s not a break!), my ankle is now ensconced in a sling-splint and my foot is wearing the attractive velcro sandal I had in stock from last year’s foot surgery. I’ve been icing and elevating my foot and hopefully, the splint will do the trick and it will heal rapidly. On the bright side, I didn’t hurt my hands so at least I’m able to type and bead and I’ll get out of cooking Thanks Giving dinner for the second year in a row! Thankfully, our builder is coming by today to investigate. He’ll climb onto the roof as well as the crawl space and hopefully solve the mystery of the night phantom!