There was never a dull moment on the farm. New, unexpected challenges would often arise and they would often be centered around animals. So, this next story takes us away from the tame partridge and onto the tame raccoon.
One summer week-end morning I awoke to Paula’s screams from the kitchen. She was frantically trying to sweep a raccoon out of her kitchen and back into the great outdoors. “Shoo, you silly thing!”, she hollered. I didn’t know what the heck was happening, but I rushed out to see her with the broom. The raccoon was not interested in leaving. It appeared to be quite comfortable in her kitchen, but not liking being scolded.
Paula and I finally got the thing outdoors, but it didn’t want to depart.
I put two and two together to recall the previous night when I looked out my bedroom window to a set of eyes staring back at me. This raccoon must have been on our window – ledge even the night before it was enticed by Paula’s farmer’s breakfast smells.
So we ate our breakfast of potatoes, sausages, and a slice of tomato and prepared for projects that lay ahead of us that day. I was planning which trees needed to be cleared to help fuel our furnace for the winter and where in the back 80 acres I would start.
That evening we were entertaining Gary Norwood and his family. Stacey was sitting on the hearth in front of the fireplace. I had closed the damper to the fireplace and stuffed pink insulation up it so that it would be more efficient when we weren’t using it during the winter. There were strange cries coming from the chimney. They sounded like a baby – crying. We couldn’t figure out at first what the heck the noise was. Truly, we figured out something had come down the chimney and the only way to get it out was to unpack the insulation and open the damper. I got my work gloves on and gave a set to Gary so that he would also be prepared for whatever sprang out at us.
We were so surprised when the damper opened and down came that raccoon! It scuttled up around Gary’s neck and started Gary as one may expect. Gary was worried the thing may be rabid, but it cradled his neck like a long-lost baby. The thing was cuddling with Gary. “I’ll be damned”, said Gary. “This thing thinks I”m it’s mother!”.
Someone must have domesticated the raccoon and then dropped it off at our door in the night. The poor little thing was lonely and only wanted company.
Stacey wanted to keep it – but Paula had had enough. Naturally, Paula won and Gary and I took the raccoon to a local animal reserve where it could meet more of its own kind.
I know why raccoons are nick-named bandits – as this little one really did steal our hearts.