My Sister & the Racoon
I seldom get comments regarding my postings. However, I received quite a few regarding the post about Kit Kat (the traveling cat). I posted this personal story as it is one of a few that I found amazing and one that endures. The following, while not as amazing is another personal story which you might find amusing: Dad was a West Point Grad and career USAF officer. From ages 10 – 13 we were living in Colorado Springs. After a 3-year assignment with ADC (Air Defense Command) he was transferred to Ottawa Canada to assist the liaison effort with the Canadian Government. Dad was an avid fisherman and arranged for our family to partner with another family for a rental cabin on Lac Phillipe which was located in Quebec Province approximately 30 miles from our home on the South side of Ottawa. The arrangement was that each family would alternate weeks to occupy the cabin. There were times when our family chose not to use the cabin, but I loved the cabin & the fishing so much that once, I chose to use it for a fishing weekend with a friend. The trip involved about 3-hour ride on our bicycles after school on Friday. My story, which will forever be engrained in my memory, has to do with one family weekend. My sis and I were out scrounging near the lake to a variety of berries and also for small frogs. The frogs were an abundant source of food for the lake’s smallmouth bass population and in great demand for an avid fisherman like myself. Sis spotted a young racoon foraging near the shoreline. It was not a bay, but not yet fully mature. We decided to check it out and it proceeded to climb a small tree, actually a sapling, on the edge of the shore. I would estimate that the trunk was no more than 4” in diameter and it was most likely 20 – 25’ tall. I grabbed the sapling and started moving the trunk back and forth. The tree’s swinging gained momentum and at some point, the racoon lost its grip and was thrown about 25 feet out into the lake. It commenced to swim back to the shore, but at when I stood in front of the point that it intended to make landfall it turned and swam back out into the lake. After about 3 attempts with the same result I suggested that sis run back to the cabin and grab a burlap bag. While she was in the process of securing the bag and returning, I kept the racoon at bay. Thanks to my superior supervisory skills I convinced sis that on the racoon’s next attempt to reach shore she could simply wade out a few feet into the lake, grab the racoon behind the back of the neck and stuff it in the bag while I held it. Surprisingly my plan worked to perfection. I can tell you that my opinion of the plan would not have been as positive if our roles were reversed. As the racoon screeched and struggled, we managed to tote it back to the cabin and insert the animal into a wire cage, without any notion of our intentions in the longer term. We inserted a dish of water and some cat food into the cage and delayed any decision on releasing the critter to the next day. Sometime during the night our entire family awoke to loud screeches and scratching sounds coming from the roof. Dad took a flashlight and used it to peer outside. He relayed that there were at least a dozen racoons in the yard, most of them near the cage. From the sounds that emanated from the above we surmised that several more must be on the roof. The commotion went on for quite some time, then suddenly ceased. We were not inclined to venture outside in the dark and eventually were able to resume sleeping. In the morning we discovered that the cage had been shredded and the adolescent racoon was missing. Apparently, the racoon mob had accomplished a successful prison break of their friend!