Tuesday, August 24, 2004

HEY! It's been weeks since I've posted anything. And the event described actually happened last week... but it's a story I've told a bunch of times, and want to remember, so I figured I'd give some folks something to read...

At about 4:15 am, I heard some pounding noises outside my bedroom window. It's kind of a scary thing to wake up to something like that. I realized what it was pretty quickly: some animal had noticed that I had thrown away half a pizza, and was trying to get to it. The thumping was pretty loud, I thought. But I KNEW I wouldn't sleep until I knew what it was. I was a little worried it was a bear, but I figured I'd just go outside, peek around the corner, shine my flashlight in the general direction of the garbage, and the animal's bearness would be swiftly apparently, and then I could just go back inside.

So I put on some pajama pants, and went out. I shined the light, and saw a little grey fur. A raccoon! Well, he'll be easy to chase away! So I walked over there, and there was actually 4 raccoons. Two were standing next to the garbage can, apparently on watch. The other Two were busy with the garbage can -- they couldn't get the lid off, but they managed to shift it off to the side a little bit. One guy had basically just his head in, but the other was in up to his hips.

The raccoons were not large -- maybe about the size of a small full-grown cat in length, with raccoon girth. They were so beautiful.

The two on watch just stared at me for a second, frozen. Then, guard number one gave up and quickly hobbled off, leaving just his buddy watching me. The other two were still busy with the pizza remnants.

Guard number 2 then ELBOWED the raccoon with just his head in the can. I swear he did. He never stopped looking at me, and he tapped his buddy in a gesture of, "Dude. Dude. There's a dude here. We gotta go."

The guy with his head in the can backed out. He looked at me, and shook his head in disgust. He and his buddy ambled off.

So NOW it's just the guy half in the can. And he's pretty involved in his meal. So I started to yell at him -- "Hey." "Hey!" "HEY!" He didn't seem to care at all. So then I poked him in the butt with my flashlight.

STILL nothing! He was just munching away.

If you've ever checked my profile, you know that one of my Interests is "trying to pet wild animals". What a perfect time to do just that. So...

I pet him. I PET HIM!

He was pretty soft.

As soon as I pet him, he totally stiffened up, but he didn't back out. I was a little worried he was stuck. So I took advantage of the situation and pet him again. I scratched him a little.
Then he backed out. And sat down and looked at me. I told him to "Get outta here, silly." but he seemed content. I thought about trying to pet him again, but now he was teeth-first, so I was a bit reluctant.

I stomped a foot right in front of him, and he wandered under my car.
I righted the garbage can, and took the pizza out of it. I was bringing it back towards the house to put it in a plastic bag. I got near the back of my car, and the raccoon was just sitting there! He was looking at me. He was so cute. He seemed pretty unafraid. I told him how cute he was, and moved on towards the house. I looked over my shoulder, and he was following me! Like he was thinking, "Where are we going to eat that pizza?"

I went inside, and he was sitting right outside the screen door. I bid him goodnight, and went to the kitchen and bagged up the pizza.

As I walked back to bed, he was still sitting outside looking in.