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Kill Devil Hills, NC, United States
Trying to connect my present with the past in order to fly through the future.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Yesterday, I took a walk with the dog I am sitting, Joey.  We found a baby raccoon.  It is interesting the different feelings you get about road kill and what the poor things were before they were road kill.

Raccoons, squirrels. The generally get an "awe, isn't that terrible" and a sad twinge passes over me. Skunks, 'possums. Not so much.  Tell me. What really is the difference? They are all basically the same "type" of animal. They live in woodsy environments and are really forced to live amongst humans and adapt the best they know how.

Now it isn't their fault that skunks put off a smell or that opossums are so....ratlike. It just is the way they are. Why would you stop your car if you saw a limping baby raccoon on the side of the road and not a 'possum? If you get right down to it, add a stripy tail and a Lone Ranger mask, they look alike, kinda.

We stopped once. Not for a raccoon. We stopped and picked up a baby 'possum. We were driving down a main road (for the area) and there was a large opossum lying dead in the middle of the lane. Being me, I turned and looked at the poor thing. I noticed movement. "Mom! Stop! It's alive." Being the great mom she was (is) she stopped quickly and backed up toward it. We got out of the car and walked toward it. We could see immediately that the rat-kin was dead, but there was a little sprig of a baby corkscrewing around its mother.

With a rag from the car, we picked it up and took it home. You all know that joeys, baby 'possums, live inside mama's pouch for a period of time before they go out on their own, like Kangaroos. Anyway, this little thing definitely wasn't ready for the real world. It was barely fatter than a couple of my fingers and not even that long.

Realizing this was more than either of us (or both of us) could handle, we called a vet. The vet suggested a science teacher friend of his at the High School. We took it over and the science teacher was thrilled. A great project for his classes.

We learned a few days later that the poor thing had died. He was just too young to be parted from his mama.  Still, we felt good about our selves. We had tried to do something good after something bad had happened. I suppose that counts for something.

Maybe later, I will tell you about the good deed we did for the box turtle...

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