Saturday, May 29, 2010

Raccoon's Delight

And now, the second in my triptych of animals in difficult circumstances: "Raccoon's Delight."

Last month, right around Easter, I bought a whole barbecue chicken from a newly-opened local store that was having a spring sale. (It cost $6.99.) They gave me the chicken in one of those foil-lined "thermal" bags, but neglected to put this in a plastic bag. Since the "thermal" bag was not in the least sturdy, the bottom fell out of it as I was nearing home. This happened in the alley adjacent to my apartment. A whole chicken lay in the alley. In a fury, I left the chicken where it lay and returned to the newly-opened chicken shop to demand a properly-bagged replacement; which, to their credit, they gave with me bonus potatoes.

There are two distressed animals in this tale: myself and the imperilled whole chicken. (I'm told that a chicken does not so much mind sacrificing itself to the health of other animals [an appropriate sentiment for Easter], but particularly resents being wasted—or, their preferred term, gaspillé.)

But one animal's misfortune is often another's delight. In this case, the beneficiaries were many. Most obviously, a sixsome of raccoons of varying degrees of corpulence, who feasted lustily on the discarded fowl. Afterwards, an attentive but shy cat in raccoon camouflage who eventually descend her perch on the roof of a garage and partook of some leftovers. A brave mouse arrived last, and ate enough scraps to last her an entire month.

It it courtesy of this Mouse (who wrote me a letter recounting the events) that I was made aware of the narrative. She also conveyed to me the raccoons' and the cat's extreme thanks. To convey my own heartfelt thanks to the Mouse, I have drawn her in to this picture on the extreme right, where she is in the anachronistic act of writing me the letter, which she achieves by means of dipping her pointed snout in a jar of ink. (Click on the picture to get a proper view.)

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