Menacing Vermin Have Their Place

A raccoon moved into the barn and decided to stay.

Mutt had the ‘coon treed in the rafter, and he was there all day. With rifle in hand, our son decided there was only one way to move the varmint. We warned, “Make sure you don’t put a bullet hole in the barn.” Marksman guaranteed, “I’ll shoot him in the heart.”


Aim may have been accurate, but it was not an instant kill. The vermin fell and scampered away, before two more shots ended his escapade. There’s a big bullet hole in the side of the nice metal barn. “It can be fixed,” shooter assured.

We’ve been bombarded by predators many times. A half dozen ‘coons once took over another barn, and several shells were needed to end their intrusion. Opossums have thought the back step was their home. More than a stick is needed to eradicate them, because they know how to “play possum,” if the blow isn’t terminating.

There’ve been major invasions of mice and rats, which are usually controlled with poisons, although on occasions, a shotgun has been brought into use. Sometimes a black and white striped kitty shows up; our nose tells us so, but they’ve always eventually gone on their smelly way. Coyotes are a menace to new calves, and beavers sure do chop trees.

Assaults from sparrows, starlings and swallows seem constant and ruin barn insulation. Bird traps and repellants have been of no avail, so we repair destruction, take damage-limiting measures, and live with the birds. Never ending are flies, mosquitoes, spiders with their webs, and the hard-shelled bugs beneath the yard lights.

Rattle snakes show up under hay bales in the field. Garter snakes are seen infrequently, and big long black snakes have been in the tack room and garage and are regulars in the hay mow. We just leave them alone, and they do not harm.

While we question the need for these vermin, it is clarified in Romans 8:20: “For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope.” Further justification comes in Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God.”

Distinctions are made, however, in Leviticus 11:46-47: “This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth: To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.”

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