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He helps himself to figs and pears, opens the lid of the barbeque to look for bits of food, and washes his hands in Wily’s water bowl on the back porch. He even has his mail delivered here. It's mostly junk mail: coupons and fliers for white sales, addressed to "Resident."
Every night he climbs up into the peach tree to check the birdfeeder. If he finds sunflower seeds, he opens the feeder, eats a fistful of seeds and dumps the rest on the ground.
The skunks have figured this out. They come around afterwards and eat the seeds they find in the grass.
I didn't appreciate how much wilderness Wily held at bay all those years. She's too old now. She sleeps inside all night, and if she does go out, she's quick about it and doesn't get far from the bottom step. While I wait for her on the landing, I can see two skunks not 15 feet away. Wily doesn't know, and they don't care.
Are you going to feed him? Nancy wanted to know, when I told her about the Resident. I said, Absolutely not!
But then I made a bouillabaisse. When I had strained the stock I was left with six fat pink shrimp heads. I started to put them in the trash. It seemed such a shame. The Resident would love them. I asked Craig if he could have them and Craig said, Absolutely not! But when I asked him for the third time, he took them down to the southwest corner. In the morning, they were gone without a trace.
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The Year of the
The Year of the Night Animals