Monday, March 10, 2008
Have you ever had a closeup encounter with a raccoon? Growing up, it usually wasn't a shock to find some wild animal had made it into the house, it was more of an adventure to discover WHAT wild animal had made it in that time. I only remember raccoons making a visit after I had moved out on my own, but yet was still a part of it all. My parents had gone on a pre-vacation camping trip to the lake for one night. My sister was supposed to go feed the cat and get the mail. I was 200 miles away, working my last couple days before vacation with my parents. To make sense of the story I must tell you that for our vacation we were going to Ocean Springs, Mississippi and then across to Lake Charles, Louisianna. We were going to camp and cook our food at the campsite, so preparing for this trip had taken some time and when I'd been at my mom's the weekend before I had helped to get things like our food ready. Our menu included all the spices in a baggy to make baked beans, the dry ingredients for pancakes in another baggy, and marshmallows, hershey's bars and graham crackers. Now picture in your mind a pile of tents, sleeping bags, dutch ovens, and all the ingredients for a week of food. A nice, neat pile. That's the way my parents left it. Ok, so about four in the afternoon my sister gets home, and goes to check on the cat. She walks in the house. I can only imagine the look on her face... The pile was not nice and neat, there was flour everywhere! So she calls me. I answer my phone and as soon as she explains I basically start laughing. Sounded like coons had been in the house. So I sent her looking to see if they were still there. For what she could find, it seemed that the coons had left. She straightened a little, but thought Mom and Dad really needed to see this. The next day when they returned home, they repacked all our food. An entire bag of marshmallows had been consumed, the pancake and baked beans ingredients were scattered. When Mom started looking she found little marshmallowy raccoon footprints on the mirror, marshmallows in all the beds, and she finally discovered that they had pushed a screen out to find their way back to the great outdoors after their big party. Most people know to raccoon proof the food WHILE they are camping, but at least for my parents, they need to raccoon proof before camping too!