19 09 2011

I was drawn by my nose to the house, but I wasn’t sure until I peered through the fence into the yard that it was golden.  I called to Tory and she joined me at the fence.  There in the light flung from a bedroom window lay a dog.  He was a large dog, but mostly he was largely asleep.  His great sides heaved up and down in oblivious slumber.  Glancing up, we could see the porch light on at the deck attached to the upper story.  Our prize was waiting.

I slipped through with Tory following close behind and crept slowly to the deck.  I was careful to avoid the dry leaves that were starting to litter the early autumn grass.  Glancing in the direction of the dog, I could see into the human child’s room.  Undoubtedly the light had been left on due to fear of things left unseen in the dark.  Regardless, it would probably be the most perilous part of our quest.

The shelter of the night’s shadows welcomed me back into their anonymous embrace on the other side.  But at that instant, the dog’s head lifted.  A growl ripped through his throat into a bark as he hoisted himself to his feet.  I turned and caught the surprised look in Tory’s face.  The dog was quick, but Tory was quicker.  She easily beat the beast to the tree.

She would have to act as the diversion while I obtained our goal on the deck.  The dog barked relentlessly at the tree, providing perfect cover for me.  Although the need for stealth had passed, I still took my time ascending the steps.  It would not do to be trapped in such an open place so high off the ground.

I surveyed the lay of the deck.  There on a carpet next to the glass door was a carpet with several morsels of dog food on it, presumably the remnants of the racket making dog’s supper.  Adjacent to the carpet was the dog food barrel.  If I could get the lid off of the container, I would find more than enough for Tory and me to eat.

After I had only made it about half way across the deck, a half-asleep human opened the glass door and stepped out on the deck.  I froze, but it was no good; the deck was lit up bright as day.  He advanced on me yelling, “Get out of here!  Oreo, he’s up here!”  I ran for the stairs.  If I was quick enough, I might be able to escape.

There was the sound of scrambling in the yard and I realized the dog was on his way up.  I realized about the time I got half way down that he was definitely going to win the race to the bottom of the stairs.  I turned and started back up.  Although the human was ten times my size, he didn’t have sharp teeth like the dog.  I decided to take my chances.

I had heard of an instance with my cousin where a human had lulled him into false security only to turn on him with a pitchfork.  It had been a close call for my cousin; he had escaped by the scruff of his neck.  Although this now wide awake human looked completely unarmed, I was going to be careful.

As the human slowly backed up looking for something to defend himself with.  I moved toward him hissing and puffing out my fur.  It was a hollow victory, however.  I could hear the dog lumbering up the stairs.  When he got to the top, all of my escape routes would be cut off; it was time to retreat.  I leaped to the top of the deck railing just as the dog mounted the last of the steps.  He immediately took a defensive position between me and the human.

His teeth were bared and the growling emanating from his throat was ominous.  He was in attack posture and it was time to make myself scarce.  I made a break for it down the stair railing.  The safety of the tree seemed like a sure harbor of safety, but I had underestimated the agility of the large dog.  The emboldened human had called, “Get him!” and the dog was determined to be completely obedient.

Running down the railing turned out to be more difficult than I had imagined and slowed me enough so that by the time I got to the ground, the dog was right there.  It was only ten feet to the foot of the tree, but me ability to get there before being shredded by those teeth was closing down to slim at best.  The dog was going full speed when he bowled over me, teeth snapping inches from my face.  His momentum took him into a roll on the other side that gave me just enough time to shake out of the shock and start for the tree again.  He lunged and sent us both sprawling again.  I was pinned under his full weight and could feel his hot breath on my neck and imagined those teeth sinking in.

Just when I thought I was at my end, the human provided the distraction I needed. “Oreo, get back up here!”  Whether the human was concerned about his dog’s safety or my own did not matter, the command was enough to confuse my attacker long enough for me to scrabble up the tree.  His prey out of reach, the dog heeded his master and returned to the deck.

I climbed to the top of the tree with my heart still pounding.  Tory was waiting for me at the top.  She had seen most of the battle with the wide eyes she was then staring at me with.  We were safe for the moment and spent most of the rest of the night in the tree.  When we finally were able to sneak out of the yard, we did so without incident.  Every time I look back on that night, I reflect on my life as a raccoon and come to the same conclusion: It’s a dangerous life, but therein lies the adventure.





2 responses

19 09 2011
David Montgomery

No name for the main character? I knew a rucoon named Tory once…

19 09 2011
Mister Pold

Actually the main character’s name is Lot, but you can’t find that out in the story because it is from his point of view and no one knows his name is Lot except Tory, and Tory never speaks in the story because, well, raccoons are bereft of human language ability.

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