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A Raccoon Worthy of All This Ruckus

All day we watched the raccoon that climbed the wrong tree at the wrong season. The specifics:

Still winter, despite a surprising celsius surge to shirt-sleeve weather, and the tree, a skinny Alberta maple that tree surgeons had trimmed too well. If it had leaves, they'd not hide a bird. And the raccoon - skinny too, unaccustomed to light or warmth, but recalling last fall's garbage cans - he was caught out at sunrise, curled like a coonskin cap in the crotch of our tree too scrawny to hide him.

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Not expecting hibernation to end so soon, he, like us, looks sleepy, befuddled, concerned by the dozen certified breeds barking beneath him. They churn the thawing beige lawn into mud, but in their elation over our untimely spring, are not too involved with each other.

The raccoon may only pretend to disregard the noisy, messy world 20 feet down. He may not be awake enough to remember that finally dogs get called home for the night.

Since descent is risky, the sun is uncommonly warm, and more snow is due soon, for now he stays hunched on his perch, observing, blinking....

I maintain my parallel watch.

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