Animal Encounters of the Funny Kind: Share Yours!

My mother was a sturdy person, both emotionally and physically. She was no stranger to the natural world: In fact, she bravely welcomed the excitement that wildlife brought to our lives. She was entranced when we spotted a moose in New Brunswick, or when we saw an Osprey at the ocean. So imagine our surprise when a mouse completely undid her composure.

My younger sister had a collection of white mice caged in her room and one day when the cage was being cleaned, the mice escaped. Over the next few months our house held an expanding population of multiracial mice. We’d see them now and then, and worried about their ever-growing numbers. Everything came to head one evening when my mother was cooking dinner and a mouse ran up her pant leg! My mother started shrieking and leapt onto a chair. She finally gained enough sense to stop the hopping and instead stripped off her pants to release the mouse. Seeing our mother on top of chair in her undies, my sisters and I ended up laughing and crying at the same time!

Fast forward about 35 years. My daughter Lily was practicing violin in the living room when WHOMP, a flying squirrel landed on her shoulder. Everything became eerily silent as Lily stopped mid-note and just stood there, stunned. I heard her father yell, “Oh, my God!” and then pandemonium ensued as the squirrel leapt off of Lily, she started wailing, and the dogs chased after the squirrel. Lily’s teacher said that she had heard the whole gamut of reasons for not practicing, but Lily’s took the prize.

As much as I love those memories, I think the wildlife story that still touches my heart the most occurred during a family reunion in Maine. We were all sitting on a lovely cove beach–in fact, it was the beach filmed in the movie “The Cider House Rules.” The cove was beautiful and we spent the day playing Frisbee, braving the cold Maine waters, and lying in the sun. After a while we decided to have lunch, which we had made and packed in the morning.

Suddenly, out of the blue, a seagull dive-bombed our group. Its beak was open and aimed at the sandwich my then 9-year old daughter Lily had in her hands, mid-lift to her mouth. The seemingly massive seagull snatched the sandwich out of Lily’s hands and hurtled itself up and away into the air. Our jaws were hanging open, hardly grasping what had happened, when Lily’s expression crumpled and tears started rolling down her face. She bemoaned the situation saying, “But I wanted that!”

Ahhh, the joys of nature…..

Now that I’ve exposed intimate moments from my family’s memories of wildlife encounters, please share yours! I’d love to hear about your adventures. Please take a moment to add a comment below.

107 comments

Melissah Chadwick
Melissah C.5 years ago

thanks

Ellinor S.
Ellinor S.6 years ago

Thank you

Monica D.
M D.6 years ago

One my neighbours' cats liked to visit on cold nights and hog the warm air coming from my little fan heater.

Kara S.
Kara S.7 years ago

My cat once tried to play harp. He broke 2 strings... I love that cat...

Christopher Fowler

When I was a kid, we had a wonderful Black Lab who, as labs do, absolutely loved the water. he was outside in the yard one day and got out. We went crazy looking for him that day. Turns out he had crossed the street to cross our neighbor's yard,in order to get to the river behind their house, and swam a mile and a half upstream and cross the river to get to a female that was in heat. We got a call the next day from the owner of the female. He explained the situation with his dog and asked if he could keep him a couple of days because he wanted to see if they would successfully mate.

Sure enough, it took and Midnight was back to us within a couple of days. The following year, at about the same time, he did it again and, sure enough, he ended up over there for a few days again.

Rose Deck
Rose Deck7 years ago

In the 70's I had an Airdale (85lbs). She loved the water and was a Great Family Dog. I took her and my kids to this sink-hole lake on a farm where pets were allowed as long as controlled. You could Picnic, swim, visit with their animals and horseback ride next door to them. Well one day the farmers cat wondered too close to my car where I had Abby on a long chain hooked to the bumper. I was several yards away grilling when I heard this loud meow and low and behold there was my dog pulling my car trying her darndest to catch that cat. It was a sight to see. You see, I did not know that one of my children had played around in the car while finding their swimsuit and knocked the gearshift onto drive. This was why Abby was able to move the car. Everyone who saw this could not help but laugh. My stepdad caught the dog and the car stopped. The farmer said it was too bad their was no pulling contests for dogs as she could surely win. The car was a Mercury Marque. She died at 13 in Florida of old age. I will never forget her and I loved her a lot even though I could not have a cat while I had her and I love them too. heidikitty

Rose Deck
Rose Deck7 years ago

In the 70's I had an Airdale (85lbs). She loved the water and was a Great Family Dog. I took her and my kids to this sink-hole lake on a farm where pets were allowed as long as controlled. You could Picnic, swim, visit with their animals and horseback ride next door to them. Well one day the farmers cat wondered too close to my car where I had Abby on a long chain hooked to the bumper. I was several yards away grilling when I heard this loud meow and low and behold there was my dog pulling my car trying her darndest to catch that cat. It was a sight to see. You see, I did not know that one of my children had played around in the car while finding their swimsuit and knocked the gearshift onto drive. This was why Abby was able to move the car. Everyone who saw this could not help but laugh. My stepdad caught the dog and the car stopped. The farmer said it was too bad their was no pulling contests for dogs as she could surely win. The car was a Mercury Marque. She died at 13 in Florida of old age. I will never forget her and I loved her a lot even though I could not have a cat while I had her and I love them too. heidikitty

Rose Deck
Rose Deck7 years ago

In the 70's I had an Airdale (85lbs). She loved the water and was a Great Family Dog. I took her and my kids to this sink-hole lake on a farm where pets were allowed as long as controlled. You could Picnic, swim, visit with their animals and horseback ride next door to them. Well one day the farmers cat wondered too close to my car where I had Abby on a long chain hooked to the bumper. I was several yards away grilling when I heard this loud meow and low and behold there was my dog pulling my car trying her darndest to catch that cat. It was a sight to see. You see, I did not know that one of my children had played around in the car while finding their swimsuit and knocked the gearshift onto drive. This was why Abby was able to move the car. Everyone who saw this could not help but laugh. My stepdad caught the dog and the car stopped. The farmer said it was too bad their was no pulling contests for dogs as she could surely win. The car was a Mercury Marque. She died at 13 in Florida of old age. I will never forget her and I loved her a lot even though I could not have a cat while I had her and I love them too. heidikitty

Nicole K.
Nicole K.7 years ago

My parents live out in the woods and have various animals visit their deck and surrounding area; birds, turkeys (by the dozens!), deer, racoon, squirrels, and the occassional porcupine. One night my dad's lab was giving that "I smell a bear" growl. Mom got up, went to the sliding door, flipped on the light and *GASP!* The bear is on the deck! Of course she had to open the door and holler at him to go away... Until she heard momma bear down below. Needless to say they had to stop feeding the birds for a while.

Annie Bond
Past Member 8 years ago

Oh my gosh, the story about the cat waking up the woman who's husband was in trouble just touches the heart. Synchronistically, I just received a review copy of Random Acts of Kindness by Animals, by Stephanie LaLand (Conari Press, 2008). I cracked the book to a story of a falling trapeze artist saved by a nearby horse who raced to be under her when she fell. How heartening!