Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Vancouver Moment

This evening, while walking home, a pair of raccoons wandered across my path.

They'd emerged from beneath the hedge in front of my building, then ambled pretty confidently across Oak Street, which can be pretty busy at 12:30 in the morning. I mean, I look both ways crossing with the light and I've still got my fingers crossed, but not these two.

They startled a pedestrian when they came out of the hedge, and they hadn't gotten too far across when we saw each other, each a little skittish. I'm very respectful in my encounters with wildlife, so I stood still while they crossed, in case any sudden movement should further spook them. The first one stopped in the middle of the road and took a long sniff at the air. Clearly, he was not bothered by much.

Like most people, I'm a sucker for a little anthropromorphism, and I got a little tonight. When the first raccoon had successfully made it across the street it turned and looked back to see if its companion was still following, then waited until they were close to each other before disappearing into a new hedge. Obviously I'm a sentimental Hollywood victim, but that kinda choked me up.

Of course, I didn't have my camera out; I didn't even think about it til they'd gone. Just a quiet moment and a deep breath of cool sea air and suddenly it feels a little bit more like home around here.

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[In lieu of photographic evidence from tonight's encounter, here is a raccoon I met in Stanley Park last June.]
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