Hecate and her kits come out during daylight now. Fewer predators and a good supply of food, I’d guess.
This is not to suggest the children wander about unchaperoned.
Enter Matron Aunt Gracie.
You may remember Gracie. She’s appeared on her own and often with Hecate. They’re BFF, you know.
Gracie will fluff at first when Hecate’s tribe trundles out. They’re not delicate or subtle-footed, this brood.
Then she settles down. Remember toughguy Clyde (aka Brutus)? He’ll charge her. She’ll look down at him and spread her wings. He runs back to Hecate. She ignores him.
Sounds like my mother, my aunt, and me, come to think of it.
We’re learning each others’ names
I shared Hecate‘s revealing her kits to us in last week’s installment.
Proud mother that she is and knowing this Two-Legger always has a plentiful supply of peanuts and cookies, she’s brought them back many nights running.
Of course, this means they’ve gotten use to me.
Ever had raccoons get use to you?
They have no respect.
They run over my feet, paw my legs, stand up with their little paws out.
I feel like I’m in Oliver Twist. “Please, sir. More.”
Hecate, me thinks, is glad to have us as grand…parents? Her children definitely qualify as grandkits.
I mentioned Clyde in the last installment. We’re going with Brutus as a nickname. The smallest is Penelope. She’s always the last to come forward, the first to leave. I worry for her. You may remember Bess from a few years back. She didn’t make it.
Such is life in The Wild.
And without further adieu, more kits:
I mentioned a while back that Hecate showed signs of being kitted.
Do I know my raccoons or what?
This video is four segments shot within a few minutes of each other. Hecate’s five kits (prolific, ain’t she?) didn’t all get into the frame simultaneously. One would race forward, one would dart back. Two would go to the water bucket, two would come to get peanuts.
The joys of surrogate fatherhood.
Anyway, more for us to be proud of.
The one kit who always comes forward no matter what is either Clyde or Brutus. He hasn’t decided on his name yet. He’s darker furred than the other kits. And he likes to nibble toes. Mine.
Such is life.
There are no egos in The Wild. Not for long, anyway
For about a week, Gracie and Hecate didn’t dine together. Regular readers may remember our previous post about these BFFs and we were concerned when we’d see Gracie or Hecate for a bit. Then one would come, not the other.
Not sure what happened.
Did these BFFs have a falling out?
In The Wild?
Such things don’t happen. Different species will often have overlapping territories. Members of the same species usually don’t unless they’re pack, colony, hive, et cetera, creatures.
Overlapping territories easily occur with different species when they require different resources; a turkey and a raccoon don’t go after the same food supplies.
This brings us to another territorial constraint; same or similar resource requirements. Example: two relatively equal predators usually don’t mark out the same territory. Unequal predators – fox and bear, for example – will have overlapping territories and you know the fox isn’t going to challenge the bear for a bit of food.
In any case, the rules of The Wild make good precedent for us Two-Leggers: Respect your neighbors. Clean up after yourself. Share when you can. There are no egos in The Wild. There can’t be. Egos are expensive and never worth their cost. Rules are simpler in The Wild. There are no empty threats; if Old One A shows a territorial display and you insist on invading A’s territory, A will respond with force to get you out of its territory. Two-Leggers are always making empty threats, most times because they don’t know what’s their territory and what isn’t; the border between selfish and selfless is poorly defined or doesn’t exist at all. Ego kicks in and attempts to create a territory where one doesn’t exist.
And Gracie and Hecate are together again. The borders are intact. We’re glad.
Besides, they were probably off visiting friends.
Sometimes you need some time alone
I recently had the good fortune to eavesdrop on Cuthbert and DeHavilland talking politics during a meal.
It was fascinating, learning how different species deal with similar challenges. Fox kits and Raccoon kits; what can you do? Well, I don’t know. What do you do when they are banned from certain stores in the mall? Or certain trees in the forest? Or certain streams in the glen?
And chores. Is there ever an end to them? If it’s not another perch for the children it’s more grass for the den.
And heaven forbid you bring home the wrong gurge. This one wants chipmunk, that one wants pigeon! I tell them, I only have two paws, you know. You want something special, how about you go out foraging and find something for yourself? But no, they have their faces buried in their iWilds, tapping and swiping. This one’s addicted to Turkey Crush, that one’s listening to Red Hot Squirrel Feathers. I can’t keep up.
Hence the enjoyment of a night out on your own, quiet, enjoying the stars and saying hi, a welcome nod, to passersby.
Ah, it’s a good thing.