I left you yesterday in the second part of this trilogy of raccoons as I began walking down the path in the same direction the baby raccoons had fled. It was probably foolish to do it, but I had been already going that way and I thought they were leaving me now.
Here are links to parts one and two if you missed them:
As I rounded the bend that the raccoons did, I saw that they had not disappeared into the forest, but they were watching and waiting for me. This time their were only four around though. The other two decided I wasn't so good after all. Just as they spotted me coming down the path they darted towards me again!
I stopped again as these four remaining raccoons surrounded me once more. In my greedy mind I saw it as another great opportunity to get some more valuable pictures of these adorable little creatures. And I was still just fascinated by them. As I keep saying, nothing like this has ever happened to me before.
As I was taking my pictures of them though I began to realize something. They didn't seem as curious of me as they did last time. This was something different. They were looking to me for comfort. That's when I looked around for their mother again. She was nowhere in sight.
There was one little raccoon that kept climbing up my leg. I had to shake it off a couple of times. I had to be careful not to touch any of them with my hands, even though I had an overwhelming urge to pet them. I didn't want to put any unnecessary human scent on them.
I didn't know what that would do to them when they got back to their mother. I thought they were probably too old for it, but I didn't want her to reject them because of human smell on them. Still, where was she?
These little ones were beginning to get very comfortable with me. They were wrapping themselves around me as if they were hugging me. One of them laid down in between my feet as if it was going to take a nap right there. I was quickly realizing that this was not a good thing for either of us.
I was assuming hopefully that the mother was fine and she had just taken a little stroll. If that was the case, she would be back shortly. If she saw me with her babies I would be in very big trouble. I definitely did not want to have to fight off an angry mother raccoon.
This is an animal that is much bigger than a house cat, and could kill it with ease. An adult raccoon is almost the size of a middle sized dog. The raccoon would usually win in a fight with a dog that's bigger than it. Either way the fight went, the dog would come out of it hurt. Like I said before, I was in trouble.
I decided then that I had better move away from these little ones, even though I thought they were very adorable. The leg crawler did it again, so I shook it off for the last time. They were all looking at me in an almost pleading way now. As you can see, they look very healthy, so I'm sure their mother would return very soon.
So I started to walk down the trail, and the little raccoons followed close at my feet. They were still closely surrounding me. I had to be careful where I stepped so I wouldn't hurt one of them. This was way out of hand now! I had to do something, and I had to do it now!
I quickly moved away from the crowd, and they came right back to me! I moved one direction and then another but they still kept coming! I finally stomped my foot at them in a threatening manner, but it didn't work either. They liked me too much now. I even growled and hissed at them to no avail.
So you know what I did? I did what I had to do. I ran! I ran as fast as I could go! The raccoons ran too! They were right behind me! I kept running until I began to pull away from them. I had never run so hard in my life! Up and down hills, and probably halfway through the park.
I stopped to rest once. I turned to see if they were still coming, and off in the distance I saw them running towards me! So I turned and ran again even further and faster than before. I ran down a huge hill to the creek, and then up the other side with equal speed!
From the top of the hill I turned around again, and to my relief they were nowhere in sight. I had finally lost them. I have to admit that I felt bad about it, but it was the best thing to do in that situation. I couldn't lead them through the park only to have them get lost from their mom. Yup, I was finally away from them and I felt like a jerk for it.
When I returned to that section of the park on my way out, I took the other path so I could avoid another encounter with them. It was the best thing for the little raccoons. I would never see my little friends again, but I wish I could.
That's the end of my encounter with the little raccoons. This one was extra long only because I promised it would be the final part of the story. I hope it teaches us in some small way that you can't make friends with or a pet of a wild animal. Just try to stay away if you can. Let me know what you think.