Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

How to Handle the Cunning 'Coon

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

How to Handle the Cunning 'Coon

Article excerpt

AN electric fence needs parts. The charger apparatus that hangs on the wall and plugs into the extortion company needs a pulser to make it pulse, two telltale lamp bulbs to tell if it's working, and two 1-amp fuses to make it work.

You will be glad to know this if suddenly you find yourself in dire need of an electric fence and approach a merchandiser. The part that does the charging seems to endure, but the others need renewal from time to time.

In other words, I have just had a big fight with the mail-order house that sold me an electric fence. I hadn't bought anything from it in quite some time, so we've been at peace lately. But in recent instances, it does seem that every time I buy anything we get into a bind.

My electric fence is used exclusively, and with relative kindness, on raccoons. I beg the indulgence, and forgiveness, of all the lovely people who are enamored of raccoons and think they are cunning and amusing, pleasant to have around, and deserve hand-outs at the patio. The Thornton W. Burgess myths of the Mother West Wind series persist in spite of me. Since it is impossible to grow sweetcorn in my precinct without reckoning with raccoons, I put up my electric fence each August as an alternative to the finality of open warfare and an improvement on doing without sweetcorn altogether.

If there be those who deplore the electric fence, let me assure them it is much less disastrous to raccoons than is the astonishing report of a 10-gauge shotgun at midnight in a sleeping community. Since I bought the electric fence 16 years ago at a capital outlay of $45.90 (including tax) I have not had a raccoon in my sweetcorn. Meantime, my neighbors who rely on other restraining methods get their gardens ransacked in the fearful manner only a raccoon can contrive - a hurricane never wreaked such total destruction as comes from a pair of accomplished raccoons bent on willful trespass.

So early this August past I made application to the store of my mail-order friends, asking for a new pulser, two telltale bulbs, and two fuses - required to put my charger on line. I was told these are not carried in stock, so would have to be sent later by mail and it would take a week to 10 days. …

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