Stuck in someone else's frames? break free!
By Jamie Swafford
Last year a large, probably male, mink was hanging out in our little
wood shed. We discovered this one day last summer because he was making
a lot of noise chasing a rat through the wood piles. Actually, the rat
was making the noise. The mink was pretty quiet. But we'd see him pop
his head up between the stacks of wood and look around and then dive
back down to chase the rat some more. Eventually, he caught up with the
rat and carried it away into the red wood trees.
Mink are dedicated hunters and vicious killers. They kill for the thrill
of it. One time a mink got into the chicken house through a small knot
hole in a board. He killed all the hens - every one. Even though he
couldn't possibly eat all of them - or even one of them - or carry any
of them away through the knot hole. He did this for the shear joy of
killing. We saved lids from canned goods and used them to cover every
knot hole - 'course it was a little late for that batch of hens.
City people who have never lived where nature is real - have this ideal
of animals only doing good - being pure and innocent - better than human
beings. That is not true at all. There is almost nothing as cruel as
nature in the raw.
A couple of days ago Don was hauling wood from the small wood shed to
the wood box that we use everyday for our fires. And he came across a
full of some kind of young animals. The mom showed up as soon as the
started fussing and he could almost see her - but not enough to tell for
sure what she was - could have been a chipmunk - or a mink. We were
hoping for a mink - they at least kill rodents and are good to have
around the place. Chipmunks are a nuisance.
Yesterday the question was answered because we were able to get a good
at the mom. It is a mink. We don't know how many young she has or how
they are - but hope she will continue to live in the wood shed. She's a
smaller than the hunter of last summer - so he's probably the dad.
Years ago a mink killed a gray digger (ground squirrel) and was carrying
it up one of the steep banks across from our house. The squirrel was
much larger than this mink - and the bank is almost straight up, but he
carried it with an ease that seemed effortless. They must be incredibly
Mink are vicious and cruel and merciless - but they have an important
place in the natural world. I hate rats and mice and can't stand the
idea of having one of the nasty things in or around my house. Cats are
not much good at hunting rodents - they are better at killing birds -
which is not something we want. I'd much rather have a confusion of
mink. (“Confusion” is the collective term. - Spike)
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