The Gathering Hordes (of Raccoons)

Humans are in a pandemic as I write this.

Covid-19. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?

Yet the Old Ones still gather daily and nightly in our yard.

I’ve often fretted about making offerings to The Old Ones. I make sure I offer enough to supplement, not enough to fulfill. I want them to find food their normal ways and not grow dependent. I worry what might happen to them once I pass.

Who will care for them?

I forget that they are Old Ones. They have survived human pestilence save humans being pestilence towards them.

I know certain diseases have ravaged wildlife.

I wonder if they know a disease is affecting Two-Legged life, or do they not care. Do they say amongst themselves, “They are Two-Legs. We were here before them, we will be here after them.”

I wonder how long the current pandemic will last. Or will it decimate Two-Legged life? Were the survivalists correct all along? If you’ve ever read Earth Abides or The Stand, you know the next chapter of humanity may not be all that pleasant.

And still, the Old Ones gather.

I’m sure they will after we’re gone.

The question is, how will they remember us.

So I’ll ask; how do you want to be remembered? Enter a comment. I’d like to know.

 

Vernod Dines Alone

We are so blessed.

Almost every night and often during the day friends come to our table. In the backyard. On the ground. Makes after-dinner clean up so much easier.

Vernod, one of last year’s kits but I’m not sure whose, usually comes with a host of others. Most nights we have four to seven raccoons of various ages.

Some are cookie mongers. They’ll come up to me, actually stepping on my feet, to get peanut butter cookies (I love them myself. That’s how we discovered they were a raccoon favorite).

Others will take a cookie, yes, thank you, much away then return for peanuts in the shell. Unsalted, of course. Don’t want raccoons with high blood pressure.

Our guests dine healthy.

Give or take a cookie or two.

 

Full Tummies Before Bedtime

Sleep well, Little Ones. See you when you awake

Despite what you see, we are snow covered here.

Some patches of grass poke through where bright sunshine splashes the earth all day long, and for the most part the earth is wearing winter white.

We knew a heavy first snow approached.

The Old Ones told us.

They dined and dined and dined.

One might call them gluttonous if you didn’t know they prepared for long sleeps.

Truth be told, raccoons sleep heavily and some say they hibernate but the biology of hibernation eludes them.

Not that they seek it out, me thinks.

But right before a long nap, a full tummy.

Something to keep the inner fires burning hot while all about you is cold and quiet.

Nature’s design is a good one, perfected through millenia of modification.

Let’s leave it so, shall we?

 

The Family Together Again

Come get your numnums, kids

Ah, the holidays.

A time when families gather.

Or at least Hecate’s family gathers.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen the whole family together.

Cause for celebration, this. There are idiots…I mean, hunters…in the woods. The Old Ones come nightly for shelter. When we don’t see one for a while, we wonder.

The Ways of The Wild are not our ways. If we are to survive, we must adapt, not they. They evolve along ancient patterns and lines.

Not so us. If we still evolve, it is to strengthen our thumbs for TXTing, perhaps.

But here, all are safe.

Would that that be the case for all souls this holiday.

That is our wish.

And even though some are hunted, The Old Ones tell us it is their wish for us, as well.

The Kits are Out on the Town

Child-Rearing in The Wild

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.