Saturday, June 09, 2012

Wild Kingdom

3:30 am wake up call. A baby raccoon fell into my outside bathroom, (I should probably take a moment to explain. Off of my bedroom the previous owners built a bathroom and shower. Surrounded by walls of brick and stucco, it's completely private from all except passing helicopters and the occasional varmint that ventures to the top of the wall. It was a selling point for me. Not only do you never have to say" oh, don't go in there", but in summer time it is a joy to shower in the light of the sun.) and proceeded to make all the necessary baby in distress noises. The mama raccoon was afraid to drop down in the bathroom for fear she would be trapped as well. When this happened with an adult squirrel, I went around back and opened the exterior door and in no time she made her escape.  But the baby raccoon was fixed on its mothers location. Also I'm sure the mom raccoon knew there are usually dogs back there so she didn't as I'd hoped, leap down grab the cub and run to safety. I had locked the dogs in the other bedroom since Lucky has a long history of killing small furry things.  After a half an hour of the little one pacing  the wall line I decided I'd better assist. Out to the garage (Sorry neighbors for the noise) grabbed my ladder and approached my exterior door.  Mama raccoon did not like the sight of me with that ladder on little bit, she swelled up and changed her tune from what had been an encouraging chortle, to threatening growl / wail. I waited till the cub was on the other side of the bathroom. Then slowly opened the door. Ready to retreat if the big angry  bitch on the wall moved. The last thing a wanted right then was an authentic raccoon hat. One that bites scratches and wants to pull my face off. Lucky for us all, the sight of the shiny ladder in my hands drove her back a little. While she was in retreat I quickly leaned the ladder against the far wall and darted back inside and drew the curtain save for a crack to keep an eye on their progress.  It took a couple of minutes before the  mom was back peering down to see if I had eaten her cub. I was a bit worried I might have scared her away. Within a few minutes the cub discovered the ladder and with its mom cheering started its first training in how steps work. After much struggling and it's mom leaning as far down the wall as she dared, it made it to the top of the ladder. But struggling to make the top step(which is clearly labeled not a step. Maybe it read that and panicked )it fell blump blump blap, back to the bottom.  Gathered it's steel and began the climb again. This time made the top of the ladder and stretched on its tip toes towards mom, who is literally hanging by her own toes to the top of the wall. Finally their little black hands reunite and mom pulls the cub up to her mouth. Chomps into the fur of its neck and backs herself up to the top of the wall and safety. She gives the cub a once over to make sure it isn't hurt and they disappear into the night, balancing along the wooden fence just beyond the wall I hear feet scuffling along to top of the boards.  The adventure is over but myself and the dogs are now wide awake. At least it's not a school night.

6 comments:

David said...

Since this IS the internet, I feel totally cheated that you didn't get any pictures but then I remember this is real life and there ARE times when it's about "getting it done" rather than touristing for blog content.

Great story and quick thinking!

Vincent Waller said...

David, I took two pics but without flash they were just completely black.
I didn't dare use a flash for 1 I didn't want to scare off the mom and 2 was worried a reflection of me standing there buck naked might show up in the picture.

Roberto Severino said...

What a heartfelt story, Vince! I wish you could draw it out though like in a storyboard. That would only enhance the story even more and much better than using photos.

emma said...

You did that naked? Brave man.......

Vincent Waller said...

Emma, by the time owe toff the ladder I was dressed. Wouldn't want to shock my neighbors.

Paul said...

Thank God ! Bare genitalia and wild animals do not mix. Nice work channeling your inner Dr. Doolittle.