The Kits are Out on the Town

Ah, children.

They grow. They make friends. They borrow the car keys, see you later can I have them, please?

Child-rearing in The Wild is fascinating. Whichever parent takes on the task will defend their children to the death. But once a child is old enough to fend for itself?… Read the rest

Ah, children.

They grow. They make friends. They borrow the car keys, see you later can I have them, please?

Child-rearing in The Wild is fascinating. Whichever parent takes on the task will defend their children to the death. But once a child is old enough to fend for itself? It’s a competitor for whatever resources are available.

If there’s enough, child and parent tolerate each other. If not, somebody eats, somebody goes hungry.

There are exceptions, of course. Socially gregarious animals – those who live in herds or packs or communities of some kind – care for each other throughout their lives. If you ever want your heart ripped from you, watch a mother elephant stay with her dying calf until it passes.

I’m crying just with the memories.

Here we had siblings gather for dinner. No mom around. Perhaps, raccoons being how they are, she was glad to have the den to herself.

 

Mr. Helfen dines in the dark

A few nights back we heard some celebrating. Curious, I rose from my slumbers and investigated.

Behold, Mr. Helfen. Many years back we were routinely visited by Mr. Giffords.

 
Mr. Giffords was a jovial sort and quite convivial. He came at all hours, announced his arrival, requested his pleasures, graced us until other, coyoteish chores called him away.… Read the rest

A few nights back we heard some celebrating. Curious, I rose from my slumbers and investigated.

Behold, Mr. Helfen. Many years back we were routinely visited by Mr. Giffords.

 
Mr. Giffords was a jovial sort and quite convivial. He came at all hours, announced his arrival, requested his pleasures, graced us until other, coyoteish chores called him away.

 
We’ve not seen this good fellow for some six years now, and yes, we miss him. We’ve heard others of his clan cavorting but none came to share their exploits with us, tell us of their far travels, of the things they’d seen or whom they’d met.

Until a few nights over this past October.

Welcome Mr. Helfen, a bit shyer, a tad more timid.

Still, a welcome guest at our backyard table.

 
By the way, the sounds you hear 3/4s in are me tapping to get Mr. Helfen’s attention, nothing more.

Boo has issues with Opie

Boo, our dog, has issues with Opossums. We’re not sure why.

He also has some issues with Immanuel Vickers, a beautiful and healthy coyote who visits us often. Sometimes, when we’re in bed, we’ll hear Immi and his crew howling it up.… Read the rest

Boo, our dog, has issues with Opossums. We’re not sure why.

He also has some issues with Immanuel Vickers, a beautiful and healthy coyote who visits us often. Sometimes, when we’re in bed, we’ll hear Immi and his crew howling it up. Quite nice.

But this post is about Opie and Boo. Boo has no issues with raccoons. Raccoons by the dozens, Boo barely lifts his head.

An Ops? Oh, well, that’s it, right then and there, how dare they, let’s go out and take of this, dad!

I asked him once, “What do you have against opossums?”

“Well…they’re opossums, dad.”

He could not have picked up such prejudice from me or Susan. We both go out and chat with our visiting opossums, dine with them, so on and so forth. Ditto coyote. Ditto wolves.

Where do our children learn such prejudices if not from us?

It’s a foolish question to ask in a media rich world. Especially when they’re young, impressionable, and have no moral reasoning ability.

Do we police their media time? How can we? We can’t police our child individually when they’re out of our influence for a good chunk of the day.

And you know other people aren’t going to police their children, right?

I mean, they’re other people, after all…

 

Ophelia and Arabeth

It’s always a delight when friends get together and dine.

Arabeth, one of our more recent foxen, recently graced us by accepting our dinner invitation. She was shortly joined by Ophelia, one of our longtime resident opossum.

It’s wonderful (and wise) that two such different beasties commingle so easily.… Read the rest

It’s always a delight when friends get together and dine.

Arabeth, one of our more recent foxen, recently graced us by accepting our dinner invitation. She was shortly joined by Ophelia, one of our longtime resident opossum.

It’s wonderful (and wise) that two such different beasties commingle so easily.

You’ll notice Arabeth’s concern isn’t Ophelia, it is us.

Humans, you know…

I’ve lived among them many years. Years longer than an individual fox or opossum could. I still don’t understand them.

Given a full table, given more food than they could comfortable eat, some humans will keep others away, forcefully if need be. They won’t even offer the remains to those who are recognizably hungry.

A table so full you can’t possibly eat it all, so plentiful you have no need to store it, and you won’t share?

No wonder The Old Ones are cautious.

 

Violetta and Chrysanthe

In the dark of night

As the moon rises

As the birds quiet

When only the owls

are heard discussing

the day’s events,

In the silence that ensues

The Old Ones come

To remind us

They were here before us

And they will be here after

Read the rest

In the dark of night

As the moon rises

As the birds quiet

When only the owls

are heard discussing

the day’s events,

In the silence that ensues

The Old Ones come

To remind us

They were here before us

And they will be here after