Slice of Life Tuesday: The new neighbors

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For the past few weeks, a strange and eerie call has pierced the night.  It’s the kind of sound that is oddly human and yet distinctly animal like…the kind of sound that makes you shiver and send prickles up the back of your neck.  Usually, everyone else in the house is fast asleep, except for Sophie, our ever watchful dog, who sits by my side looking equally wide eyed and unsettled.

What could it be? we wonder to each other. Where is it?

Please stop!

Then there are other sounds, too.  Clearly some cat or raccoon is in a fierce fight for its life.  This is when our cat makes an appearance, slinking into the room and finding a spare spot on the bed.  Then all is silent again.  Until a few nights later, when we go through the entire cycle again.

At lunch break the other day, I decided to investigate various animal sounds, going through the obvious list of suburban critters: skunks, raccoons, possums.  Nothing sounded quite right, until I went out on a wild guess with this:

Bingo!

So, right here in crowded suburban New Jersey, where every inch of space is taken up with houses, shopping malls, and more houses, we have foxes.  Who would have thunk it?!

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23 thoughts on “Slice of Life Tuesday: The new neighbors

  1. There are many foxes who have moved in, & now it seems that coyotes are wanting some of the space too. I’ve never heard the foxes like this video sounds, Tara. I thought maybe you had some weasels or something? Terrific that you figured it out! And how eerie!

  2. Great mystery writing! And great video shared that proves your mystery solution. And it proves that, even after we develop our towns, those forest friends still appear after the sun goes down! Sleep tight.

  3. I could tell how truly strange and eerie the sound was when you wrote “This is when our cat makes an appearance, slinking into the room and finding a spare spot on the bed. ” I could just picture you all huddled together for comfort.

  4. What a video! What a slice! Both gave me chills. Knowing all of you were safe inside (Sophie and your kitty at your feet) gave me some relief.

    We get crazy sounds at night too. Mostly racoons and coyotes. But foxes?! Wildlife is all around us even in our suburban spaces.

  5. Those strange unexplained sounds in the night that only we hear because everyone else is sleeping tend to send shivers up and down the spine.I think of all of the great horror books I’ve read and movies I’ve seen where this kind of scene plays an integral part. Glad you were able to identify the sound.

  6. Now those are some unsettling sounds! I can’t believe others in the family sleep through them. You are quite the investigative reporter! Loved the description of the cat slinking in to be in a safe place. Wonder what sounds you will have out in the country.

  7. I am in the middle of Minneapolis and we have had fox, deer turkeys and coyotoes but it is the cry of the raccoons that kept me up at night. They sound like a crying baby. I can recall nights when all the neighbors where out looking for the lost child only to see a family of raccoons calling from a tree.

  8. Fascinating! I was thinking this was at the new farm, but not so! Great investigating and those sounds of the foxes are eerie!

  9. I love how you questioned and found answers. Such a REAL lesson for our students. THIS Is the part of the CCS I value. Real meaningful learning.

  10. Those sounds would totally unsettle me. No wonder the cat and dog joined you. Love your description of Sophie – wide-eyed and unsettled. Love how you used italics to show your thinking.

  11. That is creepy. I live in a small city and have had some wild animals get lost, but have never heard a fox. I remember when my sister and I were little and she heard a cat crying while in heat. She thought there was a baby outside. So eerie!

  12. Loved how you saved the reveal and stretch the tension at the end. Foxes are a wily bunch! I’ve heard them in our woods too. Best chicken stealers around–when we used to raise hens. Gorgeous though–red, brown they slip, slink into the woods.

  13. Crazy! I live sort of on the edge of the suburbs, near the country, but not really. (It’s a mixed-genre place! LOL) We have seen coyotes (they are loud!), deer, rabbits, squirrels, geese, ducks, you name it, it’s been around. Foxes are scary because they sniff around for pets. I never let Jake out for too long at night.

  14. Wonderful storytelling. I’m glad you figured it out. I’ve seen them in our village a few times. I wouldn’t have guessed they make that sound.

  15. Looks like your all educated and ready for farm life now Tara. Once you know what it is you can sleep can’t you? It’s that wondering that robs us of our slumber. Cool video. I learnt something too. 🙂

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