Been Nice Knowing You

Right boys, Chad, Bandit, Wily, Scout, this operation is in the critical final phase. All the pieces are in place. The game plan is in play. Everyone stay sharp. When we move out, we have to move fast. Any questions? Yes, Chad.

What do gladiators wear under their tunics?

Ingrid Taylar took this photo of a raccoon mom and her kids lounging in a willow tree, after raiding a plum tree for lunch.



  1. Sasha's Mum says:

    You can almost hear them plotting!

  2. Um, I vote for a matchingks tag!

  3. The first time I ever had a wild raccoon take my finger very gently in it’s hand at camp was the most incredible feeling I had had in my young life. With out doubt it made a nervous city kid feel like I was never alone for the entire week.
    Yes, even as a kid I knew it wasn’t a bright idea but I just couldn’t resist the opportunity. Besides, it was acting very calm, wasn’t foaming at the mouth & was sort of used to humans judging from it’s reaction to me. I know , I know still not bright
    but it was a “wild” animal & I was too enchanted with it’s cute little hands. Besides like I said I was a kid. I guess loving “teh cute” knows no age.

  4. Meh, its been done to death in every war or casino robbery movie. ‘course, never with racoons, but still…

  5. Your mission, if you decide to accept it…

  6. So you must be very …old?

  7. Yup, they’re plotting something!

  8. Dey’re plotting to kill us wid da cute.

  9. Raccoons kind of scare me. They are so big. Initially, you think it’s a cat. A really, big cat. A really big, fat cat. Then you realize it’s not a cat at all. Yikes. A few months ago as I left my house there were 3 ‘coons (mom and 2 smaller ones) walking down my driveway, as cool as you please. I was more frightened than they were. They were not frightened at all. I think they were heading to the garden that backs onto my backyard. Probably wanted to stock up on veggies. Anyway, when I got to the street, there across the street, was another kit that missed the group crossing. It was crying very pitifully, wanting momma to come and get it.

  10. an’ we’re ded. just plain ded *thunk*

  11. We used to call the local raccoon couple Ray and Bea. We never thought of Chad!

    (Their cubs were known as the Raylettes.)

  12. cellarmouse says:

    i imagine that raccoon had a very similar reaction – “what was i thinking?” – but the magic worked because you were both innocent…lucky mudbug…

  13. cellarmouse says:

    ouch…geez pyrit, i think poor ol’ gizmo was just trying to be one of the crew…

  14. Chad is a bit of a loose cannon.

  15. Bandits at twelve o’clock. Prepare to intercept.
    Click. The *perfect* photo!!!

  16. Did you stay to see if Mom came back? I bet she did. They’re great mothers. I might have been tempted to pluck the baby up myself, but that’s just me.

  17. Fird Birfle says:

    A charmant story? Absolument.
    Elegant, fashion-forward & stripey young men? FABUlous.

    However I do no’ unnerstan’ the actual TITLE of the post, compared to
    a Scout Leader “attempting to herd” his troops.

    Mebbe it’s some reference that I missed, by skipping all proms and homecoming dances throughout my schoolyears.


    “Re-signed” [in the sense of feeling emotionally bereft,
    and reading Proust]

  18. You can tell just by the glint in his eyes and the sproing in his paws.

    (or he was trying not to slide off the tree)

  19. SlaveToCat says:

    4 Racoons watching children waiting for the school bus.

    Hey Chad, which one of those kid’s backpacks do you think has the best grub in it??
    It’s a mask Scout, not x-ray vision, but I think we should go for the fat kids backpack first. There’s gotta be something real good to nibble in it.

  20. Being Australian, Ive never connected Racoons with disease or rabies. I LOVE them. If i had one i would call it ‘Bandit’ cause of its little eye mask 🙂

    Why does every American i meet seem to despise them so much? They are incredibly intelligent and i love the way they wash their food in a stream 😛

  21. No, my ride came. But there is a park across the street and the kit was sort of hiding behind a tree. I’m sure as soon as mom had stashed the other 2, she came back for the tree-hugger. It was early in the morning so there wasn’t much danger from people. I agree they are great moms. I watch a show called “Hope for Wildlife” about wildlife rehab. If they have an orphan kit, they will put it in with a mom with kits and 9 times out of 10 she will grab the kit and put it in her hut as if to say “what are you doing out here? In the hut with your sibs”. She will raise the kit as her own.

  22. I remember reading a book about a boy and his raccoon. If I remember rightly, it was [i]Rascal[/i] by …. Sterling North? I lost that book years ago, but I loved it. Especially when he recounts how Rascal learns NOT to wash his sugar cubes before eating them.

  23. @Stella: The animosity toward raccoons is similar to how many people feel about foxes and crows … they’re clever, determined, adaptable, numerous animals who can be incredibly destructive. Raccoons not only scatter garbage and break into homes to wreak havoc, they steal eggs and kill chickens like foxes. AND they can be a rabies vector. So it’s an American love/hate thing … they’re adorable, unique, and ubiquitous, so we probably also take them rather for granted. Think of galahs Down Under! Who loves them? (Check out the house-wrecking masked bandit crew in the original “Grey Gardens.” ‘Struth!)

  24. Mary (the first) says:

    OMG I watched the sweetest thing a few years ago, young ‘coon in the yard looking for his family.. crying.. he had his nose down like a hound sniffing where they might have gone. He lost the trail and came back to my yard (from neighbor) and started over. Right about then from across the street comes mom and 2 siblings. They come barrelling over and there’s like a big hug/kiss fest. They were almost literally dancing with joy that they found him. Then all 4 bunched up (reminded me of racking pool balls), and away they went back across the street where mom came from and where they must have been headed when they lost junior. So cute!!

  25. Mary (the first) says:

    Anyway the point is, I bet anything Mom came back for him when she realized she was missing one!

  26. I can seww imagine that! Fanks for sharing!

  27. PBS Nature did a lovely documentary on raccoons. They’re definitely cute and industrious scamps.

    From the way they explained it, rabies is not the most dangerous thing they carry; it’s ring worm and other raccoon-specific diseases. You’re supposed to be extremely careful when cleaning up after their poop because the spores that come out of it can be deadly. The experts advised people to wear a mask and basically throw away the clothes they’re wearing when cleaning up.

  28. Sorry, but that video only works in the US, I believe.

    *sips cocktails in the moderation lounge. Barkeep, I will have another rum soaked ice cream, please!*

  29. FB: I believe “Been nice knowing you” refers to the highly likely scenario that not every member of this crew will come out of this ill-conceived plan unscathed. Nothing at all to do with prom. (?) Pyrit–correct am I?

  30. And I believe that’s why God made them so darn cute. Like squirrels. How can you stay mad at the destructive cute little buggers…

  31. And by the silly songs he sings.

  32. The crew, …of hecklers. Or nuffers.

  33. Ahhh inquisitive raccoons…although part of me keeps thinking…that they’re thinking “You gonna eat that??”…you know what I’m thinking??

    *plods off to find some coffee…or wine, it’s 5 pm somewhere!*

  34. Hee, hee! 6Rabbits, correct you are. It could also fall under the category of things leaders should not say to their troops .
    Which may or may not have anything to do with proms.
    Depending on where Fird Birfle went to school.

  35. Coons… intelligent little tree-dwellers with hands. I think of them as North America’s answer to monkeys. But cuter, in my opinion.

  36. I LOVE raccoons. We fed a group of them dog food on our deck one year (long story how it got started.) Eventually we had a mom and three babies, two big males (one was enormous – we called him Roscoe), and a random young possum (Henry) who hung out with them during food times. One of the babies – Babette – used to climb our slider screen door when the food ran out. Roscoe did the dip-food-in-water thing and used to lay on his side while he was eating, like “Peel me a grape.” There was rabies around at the time, but we read that healthy raccoons will keep out unhealthy ones (because they’re territorial, not because they’re prejudiced or something. 😉

    They didn’t come around the next year, which was fine with us because their demands were wearing us out! (ha)

  37. Ooh, ooh, I’m in the Moderation Lounge! Any cheese curls?

  38. Raccoons add a sort of… pointy-nosed dimension to the scene.

  39. *takes keys*

    thanks for visiting, come back soon!

  40. Well cleaner anyway, racoons don’t fling their poo at you like monkeys do!

  41. These must be fourth grade racoons! 🙂 I swear this is the kind of absurd question I get on a daily basis after foolishly, and non-specifically, asking, “Any questions?” (As soon as the hands of certain students pop up I quickly tack on “…about MATH?”–or whatever the topic is–and suddenly there are NO questions!)

  42. How many wives did Henry VIII have?
    What is the capitol of Monaco?
    What brave-hearted Scottish patriot led soldiers to a defeat of the English at the Battle of Cambuskenneth in 1297? Ooowooh, I know that one. Was it really that long ago?

  43. *snerk*

  44. The Original Jane says:

    Aw, I’d be so interested in the odd questions I’d take them just to give myself a good laugh and have some great stories to entertain friends and family. Hey, maybe you could even write a book of the best ones. “You might be a fourth grader if…you ask these questions….”

    Of course, on a daily basis I expect that could get annoying and interrupt the day.

    I’ve got it! Maybe you could take 5 minutes each day and let them write down their questions – and then pick one each week to answer. That way you aren’t stumped, overwhelmed by too many off subject questions, and you get to snicker at home (or teacher’s lounge) over the really funny ones.

  45. Fird Birfle says:

    LOVE this idea 🙂

    pretty good way to integrate where the kids minds are “at”, into the
    the teaching plan too

  46. Fird Birfle says:

    Thanks to 6r and to pyrit.

    my followup (partial) answer (I didn’t specify the schools’ names)
    to pyrit’s clause:
    Yokosuka Japan, Alexandria, VA [about 25 min from DC],
    Orange Park and Tallahassee Fla.

  47. Fird Birfle says:

    *begins humming “Hit the Road Jack”*

  48. Fird Birfle says:

    YUP you got the book title and author correct.


  49. There have been many funny, and intriguing, questions over the years, but usually these questions are along the lines of…When’s lunch…What are we doing next…Why aren’t we doing *___* right now…Do we HAVE to do *____* …
    Do we have homework…ad infinitum. (Remember–I said the hands of “certain” students.) 🙂

    Many is the time I have answered an interesting, but off topic, question that has led to a long class discussion, and I finally have to wrestle the train back on track!

    @FB–These days, most 9- and 10-year-olds’ minds are on…video games.

  50. bob drummond says:

    Don’t feel bad firdie, I never attended any social functions at my high school in the Bronx (NYC ) either !

  51. bob drummond says:

    Racoons don’t fling pooh at you like monkeys do ?? Sounds like street poetry 2 me !

  52. The Original Jane says:

    If you did the “write down your questions” ploy you could make a rule that they can’t be generic like “When’s lunch?” etc. or have anything to do with video games. Maybe their brains would get into gear and they’d come up with the interesting questions. 🙂

  53. I didn’t read all of the comments, but I believe Raccoons babies are called Kits…not kids. 8) I’m 79 yrs. young and in all my years have never had a problem with them. We’ve also lived in areas and been places where they live too. And camped a lot when we were a lot younger. Main things are Make sure your house is secure and your garbage can locked down. Had more problems with our 6 kids than Kits.and Coons. 8)

  54. They are cute as long as they keep away from my chickens. =)