Building Blocks (poem ‘A Raccoon Odyssey’)


Time molds vivid memories from one’s past into the building blocks of one’s writing…

As mentioned in the Building Block post Squirrel Attack Poem, our interface, or possibly a time of ‘in-your-face’, with nature can be inspirational to a writer.  Think about how nature took the upper hand and left you with wonderful story fodder… or almost being animal fodder.

Having spent endless hours in the woods behind my house, I was, at least in my mind, by eleven years old well aware of the haunts of nature; and of course I had that wonderful experience with a vicious squirrel, as I mentioned above.  I was especially well aware of the danger from raccoons.  I saw firsthand on one too many occasions how a raccoon’s sharp claws dealt with a nosey dog; not to mention dreaded rabies.  Thus, at eleven I knew I had to be careful when I went on my first Boy Scout campout. However, I was eleven, and who listens to adults anyway.

We had a great day and it was time to say adios to the stars.  Being tired from all that fun, it did not take long to fall asleep.  Sometime after midnight I was woken by a rustling sound inside the tent.  Being well versed in vampire and extra-terrestrial movies, I knew not to leap up.  I slowly opened my eyes.  And there in front of my face was the rear end of a raccoon; a big one.

The raccoon was apparently about to enjoy the Oreo cookies I had left out next to my sleeping area.  With cookie in hand, the raccoon backed up and started using my face as a pillow.  I knew not to move; as the last thing I wanted was for the obviously comfortable critter to swing around and rip my face open.  Thankfully my breathing did scare — nor deter — the raccoon from its snack time; so I remained motionless for at least seventy-six hours…OK, about two minutes…until the varmint had its fill and waddled away.

Photo from WikipediA

Photo from WikipediA

I learned two things that night, don’t keep food in your tent, and raccoons do not say thank you when they eat your food.

A Raccoon Odyssy

Think about your ‘building blocks’; we can not write without them.

15 thoughts on “Building Blocks (poem ‘A Raccoon Odyssey’)

      • This story reminded me of a camping trip I went on….It was evening, and I was sitting by the camfire. A skunk decided to sit down right under my stadium chair. FOR TWO HOURS! I was terrified to move. It seemed a bit on edge…..when it left, I was quite relieved. Maybe I should always carry Oreos, too. 😀

  1. I have raccoons out here every night…
    when I first moved out here I had a mom and pop one..
    they were friendly for some reason, would even eat with the cats, deer, and dogs and a opposum or two…
    the past year…Rocky and mom are gone I learned alot watching them with their little ones…
    the ones that are here now are mean..they fight…have a horrible cry…
    I just listen, no need to go out and observe….
    I so enjoyed your encounter….I hope I would have stayed so still…
    Great post Steve…
    Take Care..

    • Thank you, appreciate your comment. I too have observed many a cute raccoon; even ones people have had as pets. Nevertheless, I always remember that animals in the wild have the metaphor ‘wild’ for a reason 🙂

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