Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Naming of Mr. Ewell

Mr. Robert E. Lee Ewell.

Does the name sound familiar? Comes from a book written by Harper Lee.

If you've read me before, you know I name just about everything. If a name jumps into my head for any particular item belonging to me, I'll use it. Anything. Not just the living. I've named vehicles, yard equipment, and a few goldfinch feeders. Our feeders took on the names from the same book as Mr. Ewell (he came after) We had one hanging high in a tree and 2 below it on a metal hangar. Atticus, Jem and Scout. Another one hung in a different tree across the yard. It was named Boo Radley.

Jem and Scout Finch
Mr. Ewell has been around a few years. He lives in an abandoned shed belonging to my elderly female neighbor. She has a couple kids that stop by once or twice to check on her but, don't seem to do much of anything else for her. The same kids that moved in on her and bred pit bulls. At one time there was 13 of them. Dogs, not kids. Thank God they moved out. But, that's another story.

After hanging the finch feeders, we would find them on the ground in the mornings. I knew it couldn't be a squirrel, they sleep at night. We hadn't seen Mr. Ewell in a long time so, I thought maybe/perhaps a possum. Out Yonder has been used as a super highway for them, in the past. Then we started seeing the old boy. One night, the whoa-man spotted 2 coons searching the yard. They are so brazen, or used to the sounds and activity of our urban area, we can shine a flashlight on them from the house and follow them around the yard. Doesn't faze them a bit. Why, even once, Mr. Ewell grabbed his top hat and cane and did a little soft shoe, Vaudeville action in the spotlight.

One morning Jem and Scout were down. Scout was close but, Jem was dragged further out in the yard. His bottom plug was removed. (sorta like the book when Jem's arm was nearly wrenched from his body) That's when Mr. Ewell got his name. We try and bring Jem and Scout in every night, now - else we find them scattered around the yard. Atticus was removed from his tree one night and torn up. I now have a mini-me Atticus hanging in Nicholas, as an extra attractant for Mr. Ewell.

Who's Nicholas? Nicholas Cage. The live trap I purchased just for Mr. Ewell. No luck, yet. However, we watched one night as Mr. Ewell entered, grabbed a piece of apple and left Nicholas. (undisturbed) I have 2 Victors set up inside also. He never touched either of them nor did he hit the trigger to Nicholas. Lucky or smart?

Nicholas with the 2 Victors resting on top, awaiting tonight's mission.
I gave up the surveillance. The whoa-man continued and watched as he came back, entered Nicholas again to check out mini-me Atticus. Unimpressed, as he turned to leave, the Victors sprang into action. Traps were flying everywhere while Mr. Ewell made his escape before one of the Victors landed on Nicholas' trigger - activating the trap door. I'd say 'LUCKY' that time.

After the action, Mr. Ewell turned around and rechecked Nicholas. Really? At least we know he isn't too big for the trap. One day, my boy. One day.

UPDATE: Last night we watched as Mrs. Ewell entered Nicholas and was caught. Hurray! But, wait! She pushed at the bottom of the trap door and, just like a mouse, flattened out and slipped between the door and cage bottom. WHAT?! Unbelievable. So, I remodeled the design a bit. We'll see what happens tonight. WE WILL CATCH these 2. (hopefully)


  1. That is just amazing! I don't think that mine can be exited after the door shuts. I think maybe your mechanisms are off if he can go in and not trip the floor trigger. Once, mine got stuck.

  2. Takes me a while, but I finally found the trail of bread crumbs...
    Hope you let us know how it went!