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October 20, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Early arrival.

Spooky face in dark window. !892 Fairy tale ill. by Batten ( USPD,, artist life/Gutenberg project/

The early trickster gets the candy corn. (USPD/

There’s always one. Showing up early to get first pick of the Halloween offerings.

Usually grabby, too. A mistake to leave a “help yourself” full candy bowl on the porch. Such requires manners – or restraint – or an adult very close by.

His approach told it all: nonchalantly slipping across the fronts of the houses…flowerbeds, no obstacle – though his steps, quiet and, oddly, cautious.

Even in the dark, no one watching could miss the frantic waving of the flowerbed’s prairie grass as it was forced to part….

What sort of Halloween creature was about to burst through?

Be still my pounding heart.

The suspense.

The alerted dog barking. RC Cat 4-wheel drive scrambling into her inner sanctum shelf.

Sr. Staff spring from the bed to see what was the matter (reminiscent of the old “…there rose such a clatter…”…only months early)

But what to his wondering eyes would appear?

Certainly not a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer. But something moving lively and quick….under the porch bench and past Molly’s pile of sticks.

Quick as dry leaves before a wild hurricane fly, Sr Staff flew to pull up the camera footage. Then he laughed when he saw, in spite of himself.

The little masked bandit spoke not a word, but went straight to his work planning his route and noting available landscape fruit

Then with a wink of his eye, he disappeared into the dark like the down of a thistle.

Was it a dream or did he exclaim as he faded from sight,

“Trick or treat is coming. I’ll be back on that night”

Raccoon on driveway (© image. Copyrighted, all rights reserved. NO permissions granted )

Nothing to see here. Just a little casual sauntering going on.(© image)

A little sleight of ham

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Raccoons, the masked bandits that steal hearts as well as garbage. (Well, one man’s trash is another’s treasure.)

Celebrity Raccoons:

  • Rocket, the wisecracking little warrior from Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” films and comics. Comic book writer Bill Mantlo and artist Keith Giffen created Rocket in the mid 1970s as a nod to the Beatles’ song, “Rocky Raccoon.”
  • RJ, the Twinkie-loving con artist raccoon from the comic strip “Over the Hedge” by T. Lewis and Michael Fry;
  • Ranger Rick, the mascot for the National Wildlife Federation.
Raccoon approaching porch (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, NO permissions granted)

Is my mask on straight? (© image)






Leave a Comment
  1. shoreacres / Oct 20 2020 7:39 am

    Now I have raccoon envy! I had them when I lived on the other side of the lake; now I have a possum as a consolation prize. I actually was happy to see my possum for the first time in a long time yesterday. It was back today, too — just before daylight. I had been worried that it might have been ill, because it has an oddly colored tail (mostly white). But, it seems to be in fine health, and it certainly is agile enough to plow through all the goodies out there. I suppose I should start taking in the feeders at night, but I have a certain amount of sympathy for any critter that’s just trying to make a living!

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 20 2020 12:01 pm

      It’s so funny seeing all the prairie grass frantically waving before he barges through – you’d think a rhino was about to emerge. Don’t know if it’s the dry weather bringing them out for water or the pest removal people are busy that is bringing them around. The squirrels certainly know winter is coming. Seeing all the little guys cheers me up. Despite everything, their lives are going on as usual. Thanks for staking out a watch station here


  2. pensitivity101 / Oct 20 2020 7:43 am

    Lovely story. We might be lucky to see a badger or fox in the street here in the UK.

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 20 2020 11:55 am

      Little visitors make me smile – knowing they somehow find a way to adapt encroachment. Fox sightings are rare, but they, like deer and coyotes, do seem to find golf courses attracted places to live. Currently we’re thrilled an owl is in visiting the street. Nothing nicer than a little natural serenade during final dog walk of the night. Thanks for leashing a comment here


  3. Kate Crimmins / Oct 20 2020 7:44 am

    We get raccoons sometimes. If there’s slim pickings under the bird feeders, they will climb up and take them down. So much easier to take the top off and distribute the seed on the ground for the pack to feed. They used to take the lid off of the bid seed container so we had to rig up a bungie cord for that. They are very resourceful and can problem solve very well when it comes to food.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 20 2020 11:52 am

      Raccoons are really creative and have those little hands. They seem to enjoy the challenge of food puzzles. We used to laugh at a neighbor who moved in next door at our previous house. House came with a large pond – they immediately went out and bought very expensive fish…which kept disappearing and she was rampaging about cats when we all knew better – there was a giant raccoon male and his tribe living in the undeveloped fields/woods behind her house. Finally, after all the fish were gone, she was startled to see tiny hand prints all across her big windows and the big guy standing there most annoyed saying “Hey, where’s dinner?”
      She was most freaked out.
      Not sure which is more amusing, people or the raccoons. Thanks for pawsing with a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  4. disperser / Oct 20 2020 8:57 am

    Certainly cleverer than some current WH residents.

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 20 2020 11:47 am

      These little guys are extremely able to adapt to urban living – but of course even the big city here has a lot of green space and bayou pathways. Opportunists for sure…like some two legged versions. Thanks for unmasking a comment

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Littlesundog / Oct 20 2020 9:11 am

    Here, those masked bandits arrive in gangs down below the slope at the feeders. The mom’s bring the kids and the males are always fighting. The deer ignore them and continue to eat while the brawl ensues. They eat up a lot of our game camera video time too. I’m no fan of them, but they are cute, I’ll admit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 20 2020 11:45 am

      Farms do see a whole different aspect of these little guys. – they do have family fun times…and trigger the critter cams. How funny that the deer just shrug and ignore. Live and let live more apparent in the wilds these days. Thanks for offering the deer dive-in dinner view

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Melanie B Cee / Oct 20 2020 9:32 am

    Very clever! Who would have thought the ‘bandit’ was actually just that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 20 2020 11:43 am

      We live near lake, wetlands, nature preserved, and some fields are still around, so occasionally the quiet neighborhood gets visitors – especially in very dry weather or just before winter. I suspect this guy was dislodged from someone’s attic recently and is checking out new possibilities. Apparently the porch didn’t meet his specifications. Thanks for giggling along

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Robin / Oct 20 2020 10:14 am

    I’ve become a little wary of our masked bandits since being chased by a rabid one. Yet I still find them interesting and cute. As was this post — interesting and cute. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 20 2020 11:40 am

      Raccoons are a bit like pitfalls…sweet and cute until one starts chasing you.
      A place for everything and everything n its’ place works with wild things – and humans – too. Thanks for smiling along

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ally Bean / Oct 20 2020 12:59 pm

    Cute. I’m not a fan of raccoons but they do photo well. And make for good blog fodder.

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 20 2020 1:55 pm

      It was so funny – you wold have thought a herd of buffalo were about to burst through the flowerbed from all the foliage waving.
      Our front door must have a magnet for weirdness. As you say, interesting door cam stories. Thanks for ringing this bell

      Liked by 1 person

  9. sustainabilitea / Oct 20 2020 2:59 pm

    Raccoons are much more enjoyable at a considerable distance and they certainly love garbage/garbage cans. When we lived in Ohio, I wakened one night to a clatter (no, not Santa and not Christmas) and what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a raccoon attacking the neighbor’s garbage cans next to her garage and right near our bedroom. I suggested she might want to either make sure the lids were on very tightly, although raccoons have no qualms about knocking over a can if possible and she didn’t have the lids on (too much filling) or put them in her garage until time to put them at the curb. She had no idea about how destructive raccoons can be, so I was glad I said something.


    Liked by 1 person

  10. Spinster / Oct 20 2020 6:03 pm

    We get them around here from time to time; been lucky enough not to see them myself though. Those are better than skunks, which have also come around every once in a blue moon 😐 …

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 21 2020 10:46 am

      We got a skunk waft last night during a late walk. Not just the haunts are moving…all sorts of creatures looking for their winter AirB&B? Thanks for slipping by

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Curt Mekemson / Oct 21 2020 3:12 pm

    Raccoon came by to gobble down some apple peels I had let outside for the fox. Mistake. Not the fox. No. It was the skunk. I caught the action on our night camera. Poor raccoon had his eyes buried in his paws. Either mortified by his mistake or the generous dose of spray it had received. Unfortunately, so did our truck. Smelled for days. No more apple peels for anyone. –Curt


  12. Irene Tobias Rodriguez / Oct 21 2020 4:08 pm

    I read a story years ago about a lady who fed the raccoons on a regular basis. She tied a little food on a bell so she would know then the raccoon showed up. After a few days she had just the bell and the raccoon would pull the string to announce arrival and ask for food. She taught only one raccoon this trick. Several generations later the raccoons were still coming and ringing the bell for supper. Mother raccoon knew how to teach her youngsters well.
    You mentioned the plants moving. We had the same experience once with a family of skunks. The pachysandra moved as we witnessed tails moving through the plants, single file following their mom.


  13. Pied Type / Oct 26 2020 2:07 pm

    I’m told that in the wee hours around here one might see a coyote. I’m sure they come in via a creek and green belt about two blocks from here. The only wildlife I’ve seen are rabbits eating my grass and that one gorgeous little kestrel that stopped briefly on my porch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 26 2020 3:41 pm

      We welcome the local hawk who swoops across and sometimes sit on the fence. (RC Cat is totally enthralled then) I never get a picture. The bird is just too gorgeous – and alert to movement.
      We have a coyote family close somewhere, but sadly all the rabbits are all gone…could be related…
      Glad the snow came to slow things a bit.
      Worth bundling up for.
      Thanks for heading a comment this way


  14. cat9984 / Nov 8 2020 8:23 am

    It’s hard to believe that something so cute can be so destructive.


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