human, being

Garden weasels
February 22, 2009, 4:51 pm
Filed under: life | Tags: , , ,

jack1A few months ago, Steve was reading on a ferret owners’ forum about letting your weasel play in the garden. We decided to see what would happen if we let our three ferrets roam in our tiny garden. Ferrets are diggers by nature. In their pre-domesticated life, they would hunt mice, prairie dogs and rabbits–all tunneling creatures. We don’t have large houseplants that sit on the floor for this reason. Jack, especially, will try to dig to China at every chance he gets.

jack-pharley-bw-webWe let them out for the first time on a sunny day a couple of weeks ago. Everyone ran through the dead leaves, under the leafless bushes, over the patio, into the firewood pile, and into the two downspouts coming off our townhouse. We watched all the little holes they found and plugged them up with rocks and small pieces of firewood. Their tails were bottlebrushes because of the extreme excitement of so many new and unusual smells.

Daisy, it turns out, is just plain territorial. She has decided that the north downspout is HERS. If Jack or Pharley so much as look in that direction, she will run to the mouth of the downspout and guard it with a loud screeching chatter.  Pharley, our oldest ferret, is content to sniff around until he finds a place to curl up. Jack runs in circles, looking for a place he can escape from. Today, he almost did: Steve caught him as he dug a tunnel under the gate.

pharley1As spring commences, we’ll ferret-proof the garden for real. As much as I hate metal lawn edging, we’ll bury some along the fence line so they can’t dig out. We’ll find some sort of barrier to put up inside the fence as well so that they can’t work their way through the small gaps in the fence.

We’ll never leave them alone outside, because within minutes the neighborhood cats are sniffing around for an exotic meal. We spend a lot of time on the patio in the summer. This year, we’ll have some outside weasels to keep us company.

Now, time for ferret baths. Jack, especially, is filthy!


1 Comment so far
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I love their little dirty noses! So cute! I love ferrets and it’s neat to see them have that freedom to play outside. Very cute! 🙂

Comment by Talia

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