A few evenings ago, after dinner, Dean called the kids to quickly come up to the dining room. They both compiled, Clare from the living room where she was studying for a chemistry test and Andrew from the basement where he was playing a computer game. Dean pointed out the window and we all looked and saw a large raccoon on a low branch of the tulip tree, which stands on the easement about 15 feet from the house.
My first thought was rabies. Aren’t raccoons nocturnal? What, other than rabies. can cause an animal that is supposed to come out only at night, to be visible in broad daylight? Dean suggested it had been scared by another animal from its normal hiding place. It did look rather worried and while we watched, it climbed even higher in the tree. Clare ran for the camera to document our visitor and the rest of us scattered to different windows to watch.
At first it continued its ascent of the tall tree, but after a while carefully climbed back down the trunk and slowly ambled over to the house, opened the garbage can lid and began biting at the garbage bag. I opened the side door and after it scurried away, pushed the lid down on the trash can.
Shortly thereafter Andrew looked out the window of our kitchen door and exclaimed, “It’s right outside the door and looked me right in the eye!” Sure enough there was the raccoon, precariously perching on the railing observing the humans who were observing him. Then it reached over, actually sneered in his raccoon way and opened the trash can lid again, with no trouble at all and began pulling at the trash bag with his teeth.
This time Andrew opened the door and the raccoon once again left. Andrew stood outside for a few moments and Clare noticed the raccoon had scampered across the street, possibly to find a garbage can without so many pests hanging around.