One evening at dusk, we were unloading the groceries from the car out front when we heard Hansel squawking and raising hell down near the lake. We shot through the house to the back porch, grabbing spotlights and sticks as we went.
Anni turned on the big outside lawn light and the porch screen door slammed shut with a bang as we headed toward the edge of the pool of light. Sweeping our spotlights down toward the lake, we spotted Hansel, apparently on top of some animal.
“My god I think Hansel’s beating up on a ‘coon!” Anni called out. I couldn’t quite make out what her spotlight was illuminating because my light was on Gretel a few feet from the fracas as she stood off, hissing furiously, her neck fully extended horizontally and her tongue sticking out with the force of her anger.
Anni told me to come up to her but no further. I was arguing about how we needed to go to the rescue when she said “No, wait, I think Hansel’s got that ‘coon licked!”
What a scene! Hansel was balanced on the back of a large raccoon with one wing extended and touching the ground to steady himself while furiously beating the ‘coon with his other wing. Hansel had crooked his wing so that the bony “elbow” was exposed, and the sound of the rapid blows he rained about the ‘coon’s head carried across the lawn to where we stood rooted to the spot, amazed.
“Go!” “Yay- get ’em, Hansel!”, we shouted encouragement as Gretel crept closer, hissing and honking and flapping her wings threateningly.
Suddenly, the ‘coon managed to shrug Hansel off its back and in the blink of an eye darted across the lawn and into the darkness under the tree line.
We decided to stay where we were because it was clear Hansel was still in fighting mode, and even Gretel’s cooing did nothing to calm him down. He strutted around, flapping his wings, stretching his neck on high and honking mightily.
“That’s his Tarzan call,” Anni said and we laughed to break the tension. What an intense scene to witness! We were very proud of Hansel and the way he protected his goose, and we thought Gretel did a fine job supporting him. At least she, and we, had the good sense to let him finish what he’d started. I don’t doubt we would have jumped in if needed, but we knew enough about the strength of wild animals to know that someone would likely have come away injured, so we were glad that Hansel had whipped that ‘coon’s butt.