Lots of times it starts with Burpee Big Girl. She's the local black bear. Burpee Big Girl ambles down the hill and yanks the Droll Yankee birdfeeders off their hangers. She guzzles out of them like they're cans of Mountain Dew. Burpee Big Girl pulls the suet cakes out of their hangers and gobbles them down.
Then the skunks show up, led by the big male with bushy white eyebrows. Then the 'possums.
Finally the raccoons come poddling over. That's when the trouble starts. They grab birdseed away from each other and get all crabby. Also, they have no respect for the bear. Inevitably a big fight breaks out, with murderous snarling and an occasional high-pitched wheeeeeeeeeeeee as though the bear has flung a raccoon clear across the yard.
One night Burpee Big Girl was grumbling, the raccoons were brawling, and then suddenly whangggg! The big metal pie-pan squirrel baffler slammed to the ground. The yard filled with skunk stink.
After a few weeks, it got so that when I heard the wildlife arriving, I'd yell out the window:
"Leave your ugly moods at the edge of the yard, please!"
But then Edsel told me about this woman he used to know, who made up all sorts of New-Age psychological, spiritual, and medical puffery on an as-needed basis. She had a little son, at whom she frequently bellowed these wisdoms whilst rattling him by the shoulders:
"Repeat after me! Cantaloupe! Eat it alone or leave it alone!"
This little son, he had a lot of anger inside him. What a surprise!
So when the boy got angry, she'd rattle him like an old-fashioned popcorn popper and she'd command:
"Send the anger down through your feet! SEND THE ANGER DOWN THROUGH YOUR FEET!"
Now when the wildlife in the yard gets all cranked up, I holler out the window, "Send the anger down through your feet!"
The first night I yelled this, there was dead silence. "Huh?" said one of the raccoons.
"You heard me! Send the anger down through your feet! DOWN THROUGH YOUR FEET!"
All the animals quickly lumbered off. I'm not sure, but I think I heard one of them mutter, "This is nuts; I'm outta here."