A baby raccoon has decided to visit me regularly for eggs since spring 2015. The first few times we both were a bit scared of each other. I’ve heard stories about how vicious they can get when approached by humans, and I’m pretty sure that they’ve also heard stories about how unfriendly us humans can be.
But as time passes, mutual trust has been gradually established between the two of us. So besides handing him a few eggs, sometimes I’d give him a pat on the head. He let me.
He comes quite often, sometimes during the day, sometimes at night. He’d make some rustling noises under the fig tree by my bedroom window(I live on the first floor), and then I’d fetch an egg from the kitchen, open the window, and hand it to him. It has become a routine.
One day in August 2016, I came home late from a friend’s birthday party. It was around 1:30A.M. I parked my car on the roadside in front of our house and as I was stumbling my way towards the side entrance in the dark, a guy suddenly stood up in the shades by my window. I was startled. To this day I still have no clue where I’ve got the guts to confront him. Probably those beers.
“What the heck are you doing here?”
“Nothing. I was walking my cat and she ran into your yard.”
“WTF! Who walks cats at 2:00 in the morning?”
The guy had nothing to say. As I was reaching for my cellphone to turn on the flashlight, he scampered off. I immediately called 911 and described to them what had happened. After a few more interview questions, they assured me that my number would be put on their priority number list.
Two days later. I was sitting at my desk working on my laptop. A WhatsApp voice message came in. It was my neighbour.
“Mish! Stay still and calm! Don’t turn towards the window! The..the guy you told us about two days ago…He’s back!!!”
I asked her whether she had called the police.
“I forgot! I was frightened! But..but calm down! My husband is coming! Coming!”
So I put the phone speaker on, turned the volume down and dialled 911 while pretending I was just playing games on the phone.
A six-man police crew arrived in four cars within 3 minutes(Bravo Vancouver police!). But the guy’s already gone, after a few rounds of pushing and shoving with my neighbour’s husband. Interestingly, he left his car parked right across the street in front of my neighbour’s house.
So the cops investigated his car and spoke to each of us for details. As we were talking, a cab passed by us and made a U-turn at the end of the block. The cops immediately stopped the cab.
And guess who’s in the car?
Yep. The guy. He came back for his car.
After some 10 minutes of interrogation, the cops handcuffed him and stuffed him in the back of the police car.
Aha! I did it! Smart me! I walked back home wearing a goofy grin on my face.
Wait a minute. A bloodcurdling thought strikes me…
How many of those nights, when I pushed my window open to feed the raccoon, did I actually hand the egg to someone else?
I think our friendship has improved.