Woody Lives Another Day

My father in law came over this morning to fix up our sump pump, and he told me that he was out in the backyard, and he saw that there was a rabbit caught in the trellis under our deck. “A rabbit?” I asked, thinking it odd that a rabbit could get stuck under there since they’re so small. “Um, you know, that one that lives under your deck”. “A raccoon?” I asked. “Yeah, a raccoon.”

So I went outside, a little freaked because I was out in the backyard earlier that morning with Ben and didn’t notice anything. Sure enough, we had a prisoner stuck under the deck.

Now, it wasn’t a raccoon, it was Woody the Woodchuck, who you may remember me mentioning before. We’d always wondered who lived under our lower deck - we knew there was SOMEONE under there because one day when my dad brought his dog Ewok over, he went crazy barking in one specific spot of the deck, and when we looked between the wood slats, we could see little beady eyes staring up at us. At the time we thought it was a raccoon, but now I’m pretty sure it was Woody.

So anyway, I see this guy with his head stuck in the fence, much like little kids get their heads stuck in banisters. I saw him trying to get out, using his little clawed paws to push against the fence, but to no avail. I didn’t want to get near him (the pic was taken with my zoom lens) because I’m always freaked about rabies. I decided to call animal control to come and help him out, since I knew that their people would have experience with this kind of thing.

I hopped on the internet to find the number for the local animal control center, and couldn’t find it, but saw that most police departments handle this sort of thing. So I called our PD, told her that we had a woodchuck stuck in our fence. First thing she asked is if it was alive, which I guess makes sense - being the difference of having someone clean up vs. someone to battle with the beast. She asked for my address, and said that someone would be over.

Not more than 10 minutes later, the doorbell rang and a police officer was there. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I think I was expecting someone in a full, padded body suit, like the ones you see on TV where people are training attack dogs. This cop was just wearing his regular uniform.

I led him to the backyard and he once again asked if it was still alive, and I said yeah. When we came out and he saw him, the woodchuck wasn’t moving so I thought maybe he had died, but then he started blinking so I knew there was still hope. The cop looked at Woody and said, “Man, how’d he get stuck in there like that?!?” It was this comment that started me thinking that this was going to be pretty interesting.

As Ben and I stayed on the top deck, Easy on the Eyes Officer 1 put on his long, thick, animal proof gloves. (had to mention that he was easy on the eyes because seriously, I have yet to see a cop in my hood that’s your stereotypical donut loving chubster) He stared down at Woody for a bit, and tried to put his hand on Woody’s head to push it back through the hole. Woody wasn’t having any of that, though, and started to squeal and growl, basically going apeshit ballistic and trying to bite. This caused us all to jump back a bit. It was then that I noticed the raw skin on the back of Woody’s neck, making me believe that he’d been there much longer than the early morning since all his fur had rubbed off from where he was stuck.

From my deck I could see that the cop parked in the parking lot next to us, and saw another cop car pull up. Thinking that this Saturday morning was probably a slow one for crime, I still found it a little funny that they sent in two squad cars to take care of a woodchuck.

So Officer 2 comes in the backyard, asks, “How’s he get stuck like that?” and tells Officer 1 to just push Woody’s head through the hole, and we tell 2 that Woody’s fiesty and isn’t making it easy. Officer 1 tried tucking back Woody’s ears, but that didn’t work and Woody just got angrier. “There’s so much fur!”

By now, this thing is totally turning comical, with these two young policemen trying to figure out how to get this fat woodchuck out of the hole, and Ben on the deck saying, “Help him! He’s stuck!” and “Where’s the police?” Finally, Officer 1 asks if he could just saw some of the wood out to get Woody free, so I go in the basement to get a saw. As I’m in the basement, Dave’s dad was talking to the cop out the window and telling him that he bites.

I come back to the backyard and Officer 2 is still trying to give Officer 1 ideas on how to get the woodchuck out. I hand 1 the saw and he looks at the fence. Thinking that there might be some carnage, I tell Ben to look away. I know that the thought of just killing the woodchuck and taking his lifeless carcass out crossed all our minds (except Ben, he just wanted to feed the thing). Then Officer 2 tells Officer 1 to try and pull off one of the wood slats, rather than cutting into it.

Officer 1 tries that, and with a loud *pop* and an “Ugh!” of effort, pulled off a slat of wood.

…and Officer 2 runs away.

It was hilarious! I guess he thought (as did we all) that as soon as that woodchuck got free, he’d go all crazy and kill us all, so when Officer 1 got the piece of wood out, Officer 2 just booked it outta there. However, Woody didn’t get it. As soon as that piece of wood was out (the bottom left piece of wood in the picture), he tried desperately to move forward, which he didn’t have room to do. Me and Officer 1 were both giving Woody encouragement, like, “Go! Run to freedom! Backwards! Back it up! You’re free!” but it took him a while figure it out and I know that Officer 1 was thinking to himself, “Damn, what if this thing goes after me? I don’t have a full, padded body suit!”

Finally, Woody figured that if stepped backwards he would be free, and as soon as he did that, he scampered back to his burrow under our second deck. We all jumped back at this because he was so freakin’ fast, and I immediately picked up Ben and put him back in the house, which he wasn’t too happy about. Officer 1 came up the stairs to get my name for his report, and we all (including Officer 2, who had come back from wherever he was hiding to see Woody’s scamper to freedom) had a good laugh about the whole situation, and I *think* I said thanks for the help, but really, things were going so fast by then I have no idea what happened.

So thanks, Officer 1 and Officer 2, for coming by to help a woodchuck in need, not killing him, giving me a good laugh for a Saturday morning and letting Ben have a grand adventure.

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2009-04-26 05:58:08

Trisha says

The things our men in blue do for us!

Glad they didn’t have to hurt poor Woody. And glad they, I mean the cops, were easy on the eye.

2009-04-26 10:37:28

Sue says

You made me laugh with your “easy on the eyes officer 1″ comment. I’m glad Woody survived and all is well.

2009-05-02 21:25:21

marilyn says

Awesome story! Had me laughin’ =] Yay for woody! Yay to you for caring about woody! Yay to officer 1 & 2 and yay for ben cuz his part was my favorite part of the story! Lol I can just picture the lil guy encouraging woody to get out!

2009-05-03 03:28:43

Joey Logano Fan says

Wow I must say I really enjoyed reading this. My initial thoughts was to pull one of the woods out or cut it, as that would break him free, and it turned out that that was the solution that worked. Now lets just hope that the Mr. Woody doesn’t get himself stuck again! hehe

2009-05-12 11:10:02

Terri says

Too bad he’s probably going to get a nasty infection from the gash in his head and die….you should have treated the wound first.


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