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A Northeast Iowa Night Raid
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A Northeast Iowa Night Raid

Living in a rural area, there are several things I don't give much thought to.  Hurricanes, plane crashes, terrorist attacks, ad infinitum, and yet it would be folly to suggest that such things CAN'T happen.  Case in point. 

Early one morning, 6:30AM to be exact, I was aware of what seemed to be a pounding on my front door, as if someone or something was trying to get in.  I've often been awakened by early morning guests who wrap on my door or use the doorbell, but this noise was not that kind, and actually startled me.  I slowly made my way to the kitchen, (I didn't have so much as a fly swatter) and peeked out the window of my front door.  I could see nothing, due in part to my window being covered, so I then opened the door, with only the aluminum storm door between me and potential danger.  What was I thinking?  I first noticed that the interior of my porch was completely covered in trash, which turned out to be papers, trophies, feathers, and dog/cat food bags strewn about.  I then glanced down at the floor on the right side of the door.   There, staring back at me was an intruder, we were mere inches from one another. 

I had no idea of my unwanted visitors intentions, so therefore did the only thing I could think of. I went to get my wife!  She, being more fearless than I, approached the front door and peered out, to my shock, our intruder turned out to be not one, but a pair of potential housebreakers.  Two masked bandits glared at us from a distance of less than six feet.  My better half and I were not armed, and thankfully, neither were our trespassing duo.  It was a Mexican stand-off.  Well, to be accurate, more of a Waterville stand-off,  I had no idea of the ethnicity of our unwanted guests.  They might have been French.  Anyhow, since they seemed to be as off-guard and uncertain as the two of us, we merely stood facing each other.  It was at this time that I realized perhaps they were not intentional intruders, as the front porch door was closed, and they obviously could not operate the door handle, or at least had not thought to do so.  Technically, I now became the possible law-breaker, as I was guilty of holding them against their will.  Couple this with the fact that they were also juveniles, and you could very well believe I was imagining the harshest of penalties!

Thanks to the quick thinking of my dearly beloved, she retreated to the back door, went through the garage, and came upon the front door from outside.  The front door was opened and she backed off.  We were hoping they would see this as a gesture of good faith and good will,  sending the message that we were willing to let bygones be bygones, and no trespasses be accrued either side.  After a few minutes it was apparent they had no intentions of leaving.  My fears of judicial retribution dissipated as I realized my intruders had turned to unwanted squatters.  The homeless had found a home and seemed to be in no hurry to vacate it.  My angst began to grow. 

The smarter half of this team decided to leave them to their own devices, I had no better idea, so I went along.  We left to tend to other more important tasks.  When we returned home, our non-paying occupants were gone, but they had left behind signs of their passing.  I would never leave such deposits in the wake of my going, but you can't count on such courtesies, especially from the young ruffians who come and go like the wind, sewing the seeds of wild oats as some immature and irresponsible young folk are wont to do.  I wanted to believe my troubles were over, but I knew better.  Once a raccoon finds an easy meal, no amount of discouragement will dissuade him.  I fear this is only the beginning of my night raiders.....


*Image courtesy Flickr Creative Commons. 

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