I love wildlife in almost all its forms. Well, except for the not-so-pleasant surprises like having a snake suddenly appear in your path or walking face-first into a spiderweb. Don't get me wrong - I don't mind spiders or snakes, but I like to know they're there before I step on them.
Last year, when our cats were getting beat up on a regular basis by the neighborhood Tom, I heard screaming one morning and went out on the deck thinking that it was cats, only to discover two raccoons duking it out in a tree in the back yard. One was actually hanging upside down and was being used as a punching bag by the other one. I tried to take a picture, but the flash was too far away and it scared them off. I like raccoons. They're cute. They're smart. As it turned out, these were probably also rabid.
But the fuzz balls of our local nature are still appealing. We have tons of squirrels, bats, and raccoons at any given time, and part of the appeal of our former house was the wild space behind it where we could see these nearly every day.
It was one of the few appealing features of that house, actually.
So when we decided to move, decided on a house, we mourned the smaller wildspace behind us. We can see the houses back there, but there are trees between us. As we did our final walk-through on our new house, the owner casually mentioned that there were a pair of lemurs that lived in the neighborhood. Darling Man and I looked at each other with raised eyebrows. Lemurs? Here? What kind of weird joke is this?
Oh, it's no joke, she protested. I've seen them with my own eyes. Just once, but I know I saw them! They were sitting in the oak tree out front and eating.
Even if it weren't true, the idea was enchanting, and every night since we moved in, I have gazed out our bedroom window into the trees, searching for lemurs.
It's been a hectic few days. The last final push of getting out of the old house, making trips to Goodwill, the dump and hauling yet more stuff to the new house. My mother graciously offered to come and help me with the final cleaning. She may never do that again. I accepted and put her to work. I cleaned bedrooms and bathrooms and everything but the kitchen. I hauled workout equipment and the washing machine and climbed countless stairs at both houses. I have stumbled home each night absolutely exhausted, soaked my aching muscles and crawled into bed to sleep the sleep of the dead.
Today we finished. Everything was clean. Everything was moved or hauled away. All that needs to happen now is to turn over the keys the next time the owner is in town. I hugged my mother goodbye and slogged back home. Utterly wiped out, I sat on the floor watching TV while Darling Man prepared dinner and glancing out the back window at the all-too-brief rain shower that finally came to call after 3 months of drought, when a shadow moved in the trees.
The fog snapped out of my brain. Was that???? Really? Perched on a tree limb in the small wildspace behind my new house was a largish, gray furry person with a long black and white ringed tail.
Could it be one of the infamous lemurs?