Saturday, June 24, 2017


If there is one animal I positively hate, it is a racoon. One of my earliest memories centers around coons, it happened when I was about 15 or so months old.
A little back story first; I'm the youngest in my family. Four older brothers, four older sisters that range out to 22 years ahead of me. With that kind of spread, it should be no surprise I have been an uncle since the day I was born. Folks had a dog when I was little, a collie mix, Jake. He was an old dog by the time I was born, I actually have only two memories of him. According to my eldest brother, Jake passed away the winter after I was born. If that were the case, I'd not remember him at all. I remember trying to climb on his back. He was sitting and I grabbed a hand full of hair and when I pulled, he turned and snapped. I have a scar over my right eye from that.
Don't know if that was before or after the coons visited, but it had to have been around the same time. My oldest nephew was visiting, he is a year and a half older than me, and we were playing in a tractor tire sand box. My teen aged sister came running and snatched us both up. I was tucked under her one arm, and I think my nephew was under her other. Hell, he could have been running ahead for all I know, my attention was riveted on the action to her rear. Jake was running just behind her, he was running backwards and snapping at a coon that was filthy and frothing at the mouth. Yup, rabies season in the great white north. We made it into the house, actually the porch, it was windowed, not open. I remember that coon climbing the down spout for the gutters and getting onto the roof. Later some one shot the coon. I remember one of my brother in laws spearing another one with a pitch fork. According to sis, those happened at different times.
I don't know how Jake survived. We were poor, dirt poor so it is doubtful he had a rabies shot. Lucky? If that dog had been lucky, he'd have never been at our place. As I said though, Jake was old. He died that winter. We go through many pets in our lives, most pets, the lucky ones, go through just one master. My eldest brother was Jake's master, he graduated school the year I was born.  I don't remember him coming to visit, he moved to St Paul right after graduation. That Christmas all the other kids came home for Christmas Eve but not Phil. According to mom, Jake wandered the yard sniffing vehicles, circling and searching. When Phil finally arrived near midnight, Jake was dead on the door stoop.
As for me, those memories fill a large part of my early years. Yes, those coons terrified me. I couldn't sat racoon then, it came out racky-moo-man.They were the stuff of nightmares for me, and I had plenty of them. My siblings didn't help either, we were typical, I was the annoying little shit, they were the tormenting big brothers and sisters. They used the threat of letting the racky-moo-mans in to keep me in line. They used it often.

No comments: