He’s menacing. Vicious. Ruthless. We crossed paths today. It scared the living bejesus out of me.
The old saying goes, be careful what you wish for. Last week I posted complaints about the porcupine that was feasting on my trees. It was a no brainer – get rid of the porcupine, or watch the trees mutilated from the feeding frenzy. Trapping him ourselves was the only solution. Equipped with its quills as a defense, the porcupine has no real predators in the wild. Well actually, it has one.
Enter the fisher.
These creatures absolutely terrify me. In the same family as wolverines, the fisher is known for its speed, stealth and ferociousness. Think Hugh Jackman in X-Men as a twenty-pound fanged psychotic weasel.
Besides being fast, the fisher is swift in the trees thanks to razor-sharp claws. Reportedly, they can take down a porcupine. When the quilled critter takes to the trees, the fisher follows it, then overtakes it by attacking the quill-free spot on its body — the face. I have to stop here for a moment. Isn’t this what horror movies are made of? Attacks the face? *shiver*
The icing on the cake is that the fisher reacts aggressively when startled. But how exactly do you startle a fisher?
How about coming upon one while walking your dog, let’s say? Yes, that would seem about right. If you picture it like a movie (which I often live my life doing) you can see the woman walking her dog on a long country road on a sunny morning and coming upon a fisher, startling it, and getting attacked in the face as her loveable but cowardly golden retriever runs home.
That’s how I would picture it, and how indeed I did picture it, as I watched a huge fisher race across the road this morning no less than thirty feet in front of me.
After I peed my pants a little, and finally started breathing again, I thanked heaven above, my lucky stars and the sisters of fate for having my dog engrossed in a hump of grass (or maybe poo) on the side of the road as the fisher took flight. Close call though, as Maalik is never one to give up on a game of chase, and the day may have had a whole different ending than me blogging about our almost catastrophe. (although as a writer, I always appreciate new material)
Of course I found myself a massive stick before we had to cross the path the fisher had taken, and hacked out giant violent coughs as I walked in an attempt to sound ferocious myself. Maalik sniffed the area like the canine unit at a drug lord’s close-out sale, but I didn’t have to ask him twice to get a move on.
So now that I may not have to worry about a porky population, I have evidence of a new beast in town that nightmares are made of. Being that the vicious fisher has few predators (of which includes the bobcat and mountain lion – seriously?) I respectfully ask that powers that be, to send back the coyotes to take care of my fisher problem.
At least I can hear a pack of them coming, and have half a chance of escaping up a tree into safety. As we say here in the boonies – you don’t have to outrun a coyote, you just have to outrun the person you’re with.