We returned from a trip to North Carolina, and found our cutest nightmare.
A raccoon kit perhaps a couple of months old, likely born in our front garden, maybe to the raccoon we found a few weeks ago. Irresistibly round and fuzzy, a little unsteady in his climbing, with a sweet scared face. No Mama in sight.
If he finds enough to eat and isn't eaten himself by the foxes and coyotes, he'll be habituated to our place.
Every night as darkness falls we'll race to rescue our hanging feeders before he breaks and disembowels them of seed. He'll eat the lizards that live in the rocks, the frogs that live by the porch and the eggs of the cardinals, chickadees, titmice, buntings, tanagers and more that nest here.
Then if he is actually a she, in about a year more fuzzy babies will appear. They'll grow up with common-law ownership of our gardens, our neighbors' acres and everything else for about a square mile.
But today, he's the cutest thing you've ever seen and I can't bring myself to hope he doesn't make it.
Copyright 2009-2013 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.