Our last few Halloweens were frigid. It was traditionally 10 below with snow berms taller than the kids. This year, with our military lifestyle taking us to Arizona, I was so excited at the prospect of warm weather trick-or-treating with the kids, setting up Halloween decorations and carving pumpkins!
I had a feeling we put our decorations too early, but we’re Halloween People, and I won’t apologize for my zeal. I did, however, make one big mistake.
I unintentionally put out a royal feast for the local wildlife.
We recently had a great time picking pumpkins and produce at Apple Annie’s u-pick produce in Willcox, Arizona. Our delicata squash was delicious, and our Apple Butter jar emptied quickly. But the pumpkins didn’t last as long as I wish they had.
Five pumpkins went in the front yard; a few warty ones, and a few smooth, orange ones. I had plans to carve them the week before Halloween, but it didn’t occur to me in the slightest that they’d be eaten up well before then.
Six peccaries set up camp on our front yard this week. They wouldn’t run off when I tried to scare them away. They napped rebelliously on the lawn. They were little monsters with skinny faces and sharp teeth, unafraid of my spooky Halloween decorations, and content to destroy my Jack-O-Lantern dreams.
They drove the dogs crazy, and just before our dinner get together with friends, Moose slipped through the gate and went after the javelinas. He chased them into a ravine, then up into the hills. We gave chase up the hill, but all I could see was Moose leaping above the knee-high grass, tail wagging, tongue swinging, and face filled with glee. I couldn’t see the javelinas, or their reactions to his attempt to turn strangers into friends.
Eventually Moose came to me, and after dragging him back into the house, we noticed blood dripping from his neck. He ended up with a puncture wound, and is currently on antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. He’s also wearing the cone of shame. The hope is that he heals expediently, and doesn’t require surgery later. Dogs and peccaries do not mix. And pumpkins are not for peccaries, although that rule is a hard one to enforce. Guess we’re going to have to settle for ceramic, plastic or inflatable jack-o-lanterns here in Arizona.