I’ve blogged about squirrels in my yard, which I see on a daily basis and rabbits in my yard, which I see almost as often. This is not the case with raccoons. I’ve never seen a raccoon near my house, at least not until a couple weeks ago.
I was outside as dawn was peaking forth, setting the lawn sprinklers for the day. Not fully awake, I walked around my house, looked up, and was startled to see a raccoon lumbering across my yard, headed in my direction. I froze. What should I do?
Do I yell to scare him off? Chase him away? Ignore him? In my early morning stupor, flashbacks of comedy/horror skits flooded my mind. I envisioned him rearing up on his hind legs and running towards me. With lightning quickness he would attack, mouth foaming and eyes ablaze with anger. Before I could react, he would leap into the air, hit my chest, and pin me to the ground. Then he would…
I shuttered, trying to shake my over-active imagination from my foggy mind. It was not logical but filled me with fear just the same.
I clapped once to get his attention. He looked up with a start; he too was in a predawn stupor. To my relief, he made an abrupt U-turn and quickly waddled out of sight. He was not full-grown, but with quite a tummy on him, was apparently well-fed.
I recalled my next-door neighbor catching two adult raccoons in her live animal trap earlier this spring. I wondered if those were his folks. The trap was still set in her yard, ready for a third, but this lad was too clever. If he was an orphan, he was doing okay, avoiding capture and finding plenty to eat.
Mr. Raccoon, I hope you have a long life and a happy life—just do it in someone else’s yard.
Do you like this post? Want to read more? Check out Peter’s book, Woodpecker Wars: Discovering the Spirituality of Every Day Life, available wherever books are sold.
Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Visit peterdehaan.com to receive his newsletter, read his blog, or connect on social media.