An Interview With Rachel S. Raccoon
I didn’t have to wait long in the dark at our agreed upon meeting spot- the old, overgrown service road with the mossy tree stump. Rachel S. Raccoon excitedly clambered towards me with her five kits in tow. As she settled in front of me, she licked her paws and proudly groomed her long whiskers, then whipped around to shush her rowdy kits before turning back to me with her liquid eyes. She seemed eager to have the opportunity to tell her side of how she ended up here, in this quiet, lush woods near Concord, Wisconsin, so far from her old home near Milwaukee.
“The “S” in my name stands for “Skunky.” Mama had a weird sense of humor. These five here are called Nuts, Bolts, Frick, Frack and Bob. We loved that house in Milwaukee. Those humans were hysterical! After I met my Mr. Right, I needed a warm, safe place to have the babies. I chose this one particular house and climbed right up the chimney. Inside, it was so nice, warm and dry. I guess the humans found me out after the kiddos were born. Frick and Frack are born singers, but I don’t think the humans liked their songs at night.
You should have seen all the ways that human tried to get us out! First, he dumped moth balls down the chimney. The kids would roll them around and play kick ball. Then, he put one of those music machines under us and turned the volume up. We had a dance party every night! Then he dropped a sheet soaked in something stinky down the chimney. Nut, Bolts and Bob just tore it to pieces on their new teeth. We weren’t going anywhere.
Then, one night, I smelled something delicious- like vanilla cookies and peanut butter. I had to find out what it was. So I climbed up the chimney and saw a delicious dessert waiting for me on the roof! But it was a trap! I admit I was pretty angry, especially the next morning when I heard my babies yelling that they were being taken somewhere. But then, I saw the nicest looking young man with a big bushy beard gently handling my kits- He reminded me of my brother, Carl. He was equally gentle with me. He put my babies’ cage and my cage side-by-side in his truck and finally brought us here to this beautiful woods. I don’t regret the move. Way more living space.”
I asked Rachel why she had chosen that particular house in Milwaukee that one night, months ago. There was a mischievous gleam in her eyes now:
“They were Bear’s fans.”