A visit from Marty
I was up before daybreak to watch the sun rise and start a new day. Outside was still pitch black as I started my first cup of coffee.
Soon, as the sky lightened, I noticed the door of my squirrel trap on the counter just outside the window was shut and locked. Within a couple more minutes, still enjoying the first cup, I was able to make out the furry form of a pine marten huddled at one end of the trap, curled quietly.
With camera ready, I slipped softly out the door, walked slowly, and talked gently to snuggle close to the cage for a picture.
The marten had no need for such pleasant manners. It hissed and growled as it charged, stopped only by the wire walls.
My first thought was that I'd have to take the crate to the lake and submerge it, but as I waited for her highness to get out of bed and take a peek I devised a plan that might allow me to release the magnificent little beast without getting bit.
A few minutes later the queen of the house did rise and look with wonder out the window. With some encouragement she stepped out and went to the cage for a close look.
The shrill sheik, growls, and quick lunge of the marten scared her out of her slippers as Mary scrambled to get back inside the cabin.
I tried not to laugh. Really...
I admired the captured critter. The whole time it never turned away, always challenging head on.
Soon I climbed into high top boots, slipped into long sleeve coat, and pulled on thick leather gloves - dressing like a wrestler about to get his ass kicked - and hoisted the trap awkwardly by a short chain and headed to the woods.
There I set the trap gently on the ground, unlocked the doors, stepped back, and clapped the muffled sound of leather on leather as the captive shoved open his gate, leaped out, and ran like a bandit until he was out of sight among the trees.
"Go grab a squirrel and eat yourself a fine meal, my little buddy," I shouted after him, and then walked back to pour myself another coffee.