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, I conjured up a comedy/horror skit, which 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 a U-turn and waddled out of sight. He was not full-grown, but with quite a tummy on him, he 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.
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Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.