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Saturday, June 24, 2006

raccoon

Our Saturday got really interesting after the ice creams. #1 and a friend were playing outside and in the monkey grass right beside where we park our cars, #1 found a baby raccoon. The boys came rushing to me. They were super excited. #1 picked the baby up and handed it to me. I saw no other ones around and of course no mom. He was making sweet little whining noises, so the "rescue" began.

The kids swarmed the poor thing. Each wanting a turn to hold it. I was certain that we'd ONLY keep it wrapped up in a dish towel and I would be the ONLY one to hold it since it's claws were sharp and he did snap at us a few times (though he had no teeth yet that could hurt us). He seemed content to stay warm in the old Christmas hand towel, snuggled sweetly in, hanging one precious paw out. It was at that moment, we all feel in love with him.

The boys decided they'd go on a mission to find it's mom or a new home for it. The girls thought it would be best to sit and snuggle with it while we watched "Barbie Repunzel". Shortly the baby realized we intended no harm and it fell asleep in my arms. I thought maybe it would be okay if #2 held it while it slept, no harm in that. I went to finish cleaning some dirty dishes and I peeked in to find the raccoon completely uncovered an snuggled up to #2 fast asleep. He'd wake up every now and then and stare up at us with those sweet little black eyes. We were completely smitten with him. #2 rubbed noses with him, petted him, loved on him, she was in mommy heaven. I sat down with her and took a turn and soon he began to nudge around like he was trying to find a way to nurse.
I told #2 ... look, see he still needs his mommy, he is trying to find his mommy's milk.
#2 leaned in and pulled the top of my t-shirt down and said ... baby raccoon, here is my mommy's "nickels'(long story as to why we call them that). You can get milk from them.
I replied ... Uh, no honey. Mommy has no baby right now so there is no milk in my nickels. And besides I don't think the baby raccoon would like mommy milk, he needs his mommy's milk.

Well the new plan was at dinner time, the raccoon was to be left outside in case the mommy decided to come back. As we finished up dinner we all started worrying that the mommy might not come back and what if he really was abandoned. We all agreed we'd keep him for the night and find a wildlife rescue person to come get him on Sunday.

Luckily we had a dog kennel left over from a dog we had over 6 years ago. With little bandit on my curled up on my back and with his head propped up on my shoulder, we washed out the kennel and began to prepare his little home. As the kids colored pictures to decorate the kennel, I decided to make a science lesson out of it and teach the kids more about raccoons. I sat down to the computer and began to get information. At this point the baby was asleep still curled up on my back. On the screen I read ... don't pick up a baby raccoon. They carry a parasite that is deadly to humans. Only use rubber gloves or a towel. Call an animal rescue person immediately.... Now this is the part where I FREAK OUT! ... GIRLS GET IN THE BATH, #1 GET IN THE SHOWER AND SCRUB DOWN! The more I read the more I panicked. I finally found a list of phone numbers of people to call who took in wild animals. After 20 placed calls, with no one answering, praise Jesus I got in touch with the right lady. She calmed all my fears and helped me figure out what to do. She said the mom will come back at dark for her baby, if she is still alive. If at my bedtime, he is still there, then bring him in and she will meet us and she'll take him. I took him by the kids beds, let them say their goodbyes, and out the door he goes. I placed him in the kids yellow construction helmet, and as I walked away, 6 feet away on the other side of the gravel path where we found him, I saw a small creature beginning to stir. Turns out it was his sister. She got ticked when I picked her up. I went and got her brother and placed them together. Back inside I kissed the kids goodnight. Daddy was at the movies with some friends and #2 began to cry for him. I asked her what is the real problem, is it the baby raccoon? She started sobbing and she could barely get the words our through her tears ... yes ... I .. just .. want .. to .. keep .. him. We had a little chat. Then she snuggled up to her stuffed "Lucy" and went off to sleep.

With the kids in bed, I armed myself with the high beam flashlight and the video camera, went to the window to wait for the mom. Just as I got there I could make out her silhouette climbing down the big tree that is near were we had found her babies. I put the spot light on her and her began to climb back up. So I gave her a few undisturbed minutes and checked back about 20 minutes later. Both baby raccoons were gone. I felt at peace for about 2 minutes. Then I began to pray ... God thanks for this amazing day. What a wonderful experience my kids and I have had. Thank you for marvelous creation. Take care of our baby raccoon. PLEASE dear Lord, let us not catch anything harmful from the sweet baby "bandit" Amen.


15 Comments:

Anonymous Rachel said...

Wow! How are you ever going to leave that wild life reserve you call home?! You guys have the neatest experiences there!

1:36 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed that! What a sweet story! I miss ya'll!
Love,
Bree

1:44 PM

 
Blogger Glass Half Full said...

HOLY COW!!! :)

2:18 PM

 
Blogger the good, the bad & the ugly said...

Yeah,the racoon story! He is so cute, isn't he? I think my new nickname for you is "Davie" after "Daaa-vie, Davie Crockett, King of the wild frontier!" Remember that song?

2:20 PM

 
Anonymous keri said...

you are much more brave than me.....there is no way i would've even held that thing! :) pretty exciting story, one i know your kids will remember!!

2:21 PM

 
Blogger Jennifer said...

Wow...that is amazing. I LOL at your nickels, um, er...I'm not laughing at your nickels...I'm laughing at your girls. too funny!!!

2:36 PM

 
Blogger Jessica said...

What an amazing experience, and the pics are sooooo sweet!

3:39 PM

 
Blogger Cantini #3 said...

Totally awesome adventure.. I need to live near you!

5:35 PM

 
Blogger Sprittibee said...

I just love racoons. :) Thanks for sharing this story!!! :)

Remind me to tell you about our camping adventure where the racoons fought over my Starbucks Frappuccino cup.

11:31 PM

 
Blogger Teeny said...

wow that is so cool .. cool for me as we don't have racoons here .. glad their Mama found her way back to them .. were you told to see a dr just in case you caught any nasties ???

2:07 AM

 
Blogger JenMom said...

Great story--adorable pics. Now I want a raccoon, too!

7:45 AM

 
Blogger Wendy said...

Wow! What sweet pictures! I'm sure your kids will remember this one!

12:17 PM

 
Blogger muddy hands said...

you are a total freak just like me. we might as well start our own wildlife refuge!! between the two of us - ducks, raccoons, squirrels, birds ... what's next? ever notice how really weird things happen at our houses? love ya my gal pal. Ciao for now!! hey that rhymes.

3:32 PM

 
Blogger Perri said...

My dad and stepmom raised an abandoned one last year. bottle feeding and all. It would just follow daddy all over the yard, like a dog. She would crawl up his back and lay on his head, she would crawl up the kids (which they didn't much care for). She stayed around for months. She left during the winter, but showed up a few weeks ago....with her "boyfriend."

12:04 AM

 
Blogger A said...

I laughed my stinking head off thinking about Bandit rooting for "nickels" (is it ok if I say that?). That was officially my favorite story you have shared. Awesome that you got pictures with the kids and Bandit. They will enjoy those over and over again. Book...Book...they are chanting in unison sister.

Be Well.

8:28 AM

 

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