Anne Notations

Saturday, June 25, 2005


Tonight we sat on the back deck with our drinks. Glorious night air -- just cool enough; soft breezes that caressed my bare legs. A lone lightning-bug over the driveway. High above us the Norway maple leaves tossed black against a deep-blue sky, with one diamond-chip star exactly overhead. Yes, I said it: "Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight ... " Made a wish, too.

Deep in the yard, Mama or Papa Raccoon tiptoed from east to west. That funny hunched back! The twinkle-toes! And, as we stood up to watch: the earnest masked face turned toward us! Black button of a nose. Invisible, but assumed: whiskers.

Quick! Put the dog inside. Poor Daisy: her alert, rejected head silhouetted in the screen door.

Mike next door says there are raccoon babies as well. Earlier this week, he and Heather watched the raccoon family swinging merrily in a rope hammock one yard away.

Yes, we know they can carry rabies. Yes, we know they overturn trash cans and rip open plastic garbage bags, strewing stinky debris around our street. Yes, some consider them vermin.

I like our raccoons. They are funny country cousins come to live among us in the city. I like our mostly-white skunk, too, in spite of the occasional emissions that waft through our windows. I like the possums, even though in my car's headlights they look eerily prehistoric.

Our wild critters almost make city life worthwhile. It's like the country -- without the mosquitos.


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