Monday, September 15, 2003

Raccoon Wonder

The Toronto Star Newspaper asked stories about Racoons. This is my story which was published in the newspaper yesterday.

Raccoon Wonder

After the mother raccoon fell down the stovepipe in our local garage, three tiny baby raccoons became our houseguests for an unforgettable summer. We called them Charlie, Rascal and Rocky. At first, they came everywhere with us, as we had to feed them with a baby bottle every four hours. We even took them into K-Mart once and pushed them around the store in a shopping cart.

Later, we left them alone in the house when we went out. One day, we returned to find no raccoons in the box, trails of yarn (I am a weaver) all around the house and three very tired raccoons asleep behind the fireplace. We had them vaccinated for rabies and they made their home on top of the chest freezer in our attached garage, where they would play for hours with our pet miniature poodle Whisky. They had the run of the lower part of the house but were not allowed in the bedrooms, thank you very much.

They were completely house-trained but very mischievous. One of their favourite tricks was to lie on their backs and scrabble at the bottom of the kitchen bread drawer until it opened, whereupon they would eat all the bread. We finally resorted to keeping our bread on the top of the fridge ...

Finally, my husband decided to show them how to catch their own food, so we took them down to the Credit River. He lay on the bank, digging under rocks to find tasty crawfish, the three raccoons sat neatly beside him and politely took turns in accepting a crawfish, but they never attempted to catch one themselves. Guess they preferred room service.

As the summer drew to a close, first the biggest left home, soon to be followed by the second one. We thought the runt Rocky would never go, but one day he too disappeared. Although we caught a glimpse of them now and then, we really thought that they had left home for good. Then, unbelievably, on Christmas Day, as we were all upstairs sitting on my bed opening Christmas stockings, we heard a noise at the window, and there was Rocky.

He had climbed up the brick facing to the second floor of the house. We let him in, he played with the wrapping paper from our gifts, ate half the candies hanging from our tree, played with the poodle and finally walked through the garage to his chest freezer perch. By the next day he was gone.

Were the raccoons we saw the next year with their babies "our" raccoons? We will never know. Grown to adulthood, we could not recognize them, but we always believed that they came back to show their babies where they lived.

Barbara Elias

Thursday, September 11, 2003

TILTING at WINDMILLS

TILTING at WINDMILLS and other adventures in Fabric. A show and sale of quilts and wall hangings. 23rd October to 24th November at Arcadia Gallery, 680 Queens Quay Weswt (just west of Bathurst St).

Opening reception Thursday 23rd October 6 p.m. to 9.00 p.m. All welcome.

The gallery is open weekends 1.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. and at other times by appointment.

 

2002-2012 Barbara Elias   

Contact: barbara@BarbaraElias.com

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