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Posts Tagged ‘Dear Neighbor’

“Dear Neighbor,” by Amy Susan Wilson

In Uncategorized on April 21, 2021 at 6:45 am

Amy Susan Wilson’s publications include Fetish and Other Stories (Balkan Books) and her stories and poems have appeared in numerous publications. Her fiction currently chronicles the rural South in the Covid era. She resides in Oklahoma. (

May 9, 2020

Dear Neighbor:

We have become aware that two raccoons are living as pets at your domicile, 1214 Maple Street, caddy corner to Dill Street with the big new streetlight teenagers knock out with rocks and whatnot.

In our Covid-Gone-To-Heck era, tweens, teens alike are getting into trouble as they are bored with the online schooling and yet, keeping raccoons as pets lacks causation.  I understand youth being a little rambunctious if not downright spunky, leading to destruction of lights and such—but we cannot accept raccoon-pets as any cause-effect even in these dark times.  In short, why you insist raccoons are pets is beyond us.

For the health and good of the neighborhood and our addition, Park Lawn, we must demand removal of the raccoons from your property.

Walking raccoons on pink leashes with sparkly, fake diamonds from Maple to Emmet Avenue and looping to Ashford Street and on down the sidewalk to Broadway does NOT make them pets. Or outfitting them in pink-purple-y dog sweaters. Finding them under your carport eating birdseed out of a ripped sack propped next to a wheelbarrow is a sympathy-moment I realize, but not grounds for turning wild creatures into domesticated pets; in short, these are not wiener dogs or shih-tzus.

I know they were babies when you found them. Cute and cuddly now, as one year old toddlers, raccoons grow big claws that can shovel your eyeball out in one swipe! Or that of the retarded boy down the street who is also an autism-ADHD child and whatnot.

Okataloa City Ordinance Section 12 4.b. states: Undomesticated and/or livestock animals are not to be housed within city limits….

This is found online, for citizen convenience, Animal Control Section of City Government website. (See: www.cityofokataloa./ord/animalcontrol).

Certainly, we are not saying you cannot have pets. As Christians, we value the animals that the Lord made for us to enjoy as companions. Take for instance, parakeets, dogs of non-violent nature such as the Labradoodle, hamsters, goldfish, and the like.

Acting in Christian compassion, a four-day grace period is given so you may have requisite time to release said raccoons into the woods by Lake Okataloa (the most appropriate habitat). Upon passing of four days, Okataloa Animal Control will be dispatched to your property.

We pray you do the right thing in the allotted timeframe extended to you.


The Neighbors

May 13, 2020

Dear Neighbor (Mr. Finney),

When I took the pie to your home and rang your doorbell, it was a peace offering and gesture of good will. Yet, your plumpish kitten, Mischief, skipped in front of my feet jet-pilot fast so I tripped and the lemon meringue upshot onto your chin, Hawaiian shirt collar.  I plunked down on your front porch and a mountain-sized knot developed on my keister cheek, left side. Of course, I am not suing though it could be perceived of as a tort claim. My not major yet moderate injury was bluish-purple for six days; I walked with a limp, even while consuming the maximum doses of Extra Strength Tylenol.

You denied writing me the letter before the pie flipped into your face, but I recall from our block parties, pre-pandemic, you routinely said, “and whatnot.” As a retired educator of twenty-nine years, having served the Okataloa School District as Senior Horizons Coordinator and prior, as a Language Arts educator both at the middle school and Okataloa Adult Education Center, I do pick up on diction quite well.

I had hoped to reach a compromise regarding the raccoon issue.

While the City of Okataloa ordinance states: “… livestock may not be housed within city limits…” you remain silent on the matter of the Pitts family having a chicken coop in their backyard.

Additionally, you remain silent regarding the problems that arise from those individuals who place feed bowls topped with Meow Mix for feral cats, which populate our Maple Street cul-de-sac. In fact, you adopted a one-too-many kittens, feral, and do not obtain vaccinations or flea medications or spay/neuter these felines, I hear.

To recapitulate, I was on your doorstep wishing to offer a truce and no petty tit-for-tat nonsense. I remain open to civil discussion.

Very Sincerely,

Other Neighbor

Edith Baxter

M.Ed. Literacy Studies

May 18, 2020

Dear Neighbor:

Again, we insist upon removal of the non-pets. Educator or not, this does not excuse you from your legal duty to re-house what the law refers to as “wild animals”, i.e.: undomesticated non-livestock.

We are Christians, as stated in the past correspondence, so we will extend the deadline to contact Okataloa Animal Control by six days. But this timeframe only.

We pray that you step up to the plate so this matter can be put to rest so to speak and what not.

Peace in Christ,

The Neighbors

June 3, 2020

Dear Mr. Finney,

I am unclear as to why you refer to yourself as “neighbors” when it is exclusively you who raises this “raccoon issue.” “One” is singular, hence, “neighbor.”

Yet, my primary purpose of this communication is to inform of the forthcoming article regarding Lucy and Desi. This morning, the Okataloa News Star reporter, Jan Maxwell, photographed Lucy and Desi for the Sunday edition. A full-page feature spread will run in two to three weeks. (Dicta: The sweaters are aqua and salmon, not pink and “purple-y.” You will note this in the pictures that will accompany the article).

Certainly, I was sorry to learn that an unknown person/s lit a firecracker and rammed it up the tailpipe of your 2017 Ford Taurus. As you stated in your initial letter, youth are a little if not a lot “rambunctious” due to the homeschooling during Covid. Masks also prove restrictive for us all, especially for tweens and teens.

In closing, I challenge and encourage you to move beyond this realm of critter-focus and praise God through actions that He would find pleasing, such as daily devotional reading of Ephesians.

Very Sincerely Yours,

Your Neighbor

Edith Baxter

June 16, 2020

Dear Neighbor:

I read at Doyle’s Donut Shop. Seating was limited to six only (drive-thru the preferred donut-getting method), but Doyle still had several copies of the paper for us die-hards who like coming into the shop for the honey- glazed bear claws. While Jan Maxwell thinks that raccoons trotting the neighborhood like poodles is a-okay, the boys at Doyle’s were saying a b-b shot to the raccoon rumpuses would not be a bad thing!

Yet, as a born again Christian, God does not want intentional harm to come to his creatures. No, He wants them to live their lives in their natural habitat.

We appreciate the expression of concern for the welfare of our Taurus and my person. The firecracker that popped off inside the tailpipe did no damage. Melvin at Melvin’s Transmission Shop said it was good as new. Tailpipes cost a pretty penny so a saved expense and whatnot.

While we do respect and appreciate your concern, we still must insist on removal of those raccoons.

This letter serves as final notice.

Very Sincerely Yours,

The Neighbors

July 31, 2020

Dear Mr. Finney,

My deepest sympathies. Your house burning to a crisp by unknown cause, is tragic. Suffering third degree burns to your face, chest, legs, arms and hands is beyond heart wrenching.

All church members county-wide and those of the Tri-County Synagogue are praying for you.

Daily, I drive and/or walk past the plot of land where your house stood, the Berkshire Hathaway “For Sale” sign staked in the front lawn. I hear the City of Okataloa has made an offer and if accepted will build a Community Garden with a pergola.

Certainly, it is realized that you cannot pen a letter of response; again, my condolences and heartfelt sorrow regarding the bandaging of your hands, including all digits, for the upcoming eight months.

Update: The McKinney’s have taken in Mischief and is fed Fancy Feast moist food each evening meal and receives hairball control formula dry food, Meow Mix, each morning. The McKinney’s also installed a pet door so she can hop in the garage on cold winter nights.

While small tidbits of news, I hope these words bring you comfort during this trying time.

Prayers and Blessings,

Edith Baxter

Lucy and Desi

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