A Midnight Surprise

Hi! Mr. Nature here, this time with a startling encounter.

Now I know some of you who live in normal parts of the country are going to wonder why I’m making such a big deal of this. Well, this is the central Jersey suburbs. Democrats rule here, and the natural world is always in their crosshairs. We here don’t expect to see much wildlife.

So there I was, outside in my chair, enjoying a last pipe before bedtime, when I heard a rustling of the leaves in a nearby tree. It sounded like squirrels, but they’re not up so late. Could it be a possum?

Then I heard the sound of claws on bark, and down the tree-trunk, face-first (a cat would climb down tail-first), shinnied a great big raccoon. He climbed up the adjacent tree, whose branches overhang my chair. I know it’s silly to be afraid of a raccoon, but I kept thinking “rabies, maybe?”, so I got up and moved back a few steps.

The raccoon tight-roped out on a branch and looked me in the eye. He messed around in that tree for several minutes before climbing back down. He paused to treat me to another staring contest, then turned and ambled off into the night.

Yeah, OK, sure, it’s not a leopard or something. But it’s been over 30 years since I’ve seen a raccoon in this neighborhood, so I was a bit excited. (I’d just watched some X Files, but I’m sure that had no influence on my state of mind.) Again I thought of the world of Bell Mountain, where long-gone animals turn up as a sign from God.

We could use a sign, these days. But then Jesus Christ Himself is our sign, and God will not detract from His Son. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. I Corinthians 1:22-24

There’s nothing a raccoon can tell us that the Holy Spirit hasn’t already tried to tell us.

7 comments on “A Midnight Surprise

  1. I love it when our God shows bits of the great variety of things he has created. When Iook out my living room window and see the great variety of leaves, a teeny, tiny Humming bird tippling at his feeder and turn my eyes to look at the great differences between the three Palm trees in my garden I cannot but think with amazement that “out of nothing” the whole, wide universe came into being at the sound of his voice: “Let there be…” Nothing in all of literature can compare with those few words. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”

  2. I responded to your raccoon story (below) but my response ended up on a totally different page the subject of which was not a raccoon but a boy! I’m sure those who read my post will wonder, “Where fif that comfrum!”.


    1. Oh, well… Today my News With Views column appeared under last week’s headline. Those things happen. Like the time I wrote about the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Raymond Burr, and nobody caught it. Made me look a right dicky-doo-dah when it appeared in the paper the next day.

  3. Lee, have a similar story but from S.W. Virginia. Envision two adults, fed up with the local vermin considering our chicken coup “McChicken,” in muck boots playing peek-a-boo w/racoon in pitch black darkness. Alas, we thought it was hit by my husband’s shotgun but the awaited thud never came. (Coup is more fortified so neither coyote, dog, raccoon, opossum, nor Bobcat can behave as a squatter after a free meal!) Incidentally, congrats on the silver award for Bell Mountain.

    1. I have friends in Virginia who tell me a lot of wildlife stories like yours. It seems the coyotes are getting really out of hand.

      Where I live, though, it’s mostly squirrels, birds, and rabbits, with a possum or two thrown in. So it’s a really big deal to see a raccoon, especially up close like last night. I wonder what else we have, hiding out where nobody looks.

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