Mother’s Distress

Up at 5:30 a.m. Open up the doors to let the days cool air in. Granny’s cat likes to take a look at the world through the screen door. I’m reading things online when I hear a loud rattling sort of screeching. Too loud to be any kind of bird we’ve seen here. Too insistent.

I leave the computer screen and look outside. A mother racoon is hustling three young raccoons off toward the river. The cover of darkness is fading. She’s carrying one pup by the scruff of the neck, then lets go, screeches, fusses, picks up another. Then I see the third has a bum back leg.

The lame pup is struggling to keep up with mother and the two siblings, hurrying along so as not to be left behind. The dead leg drapes and drags like a second tail.

I’m too gob smacked by the sight to grab the camera and photograph the group as they make their escape. I don’t want to add to the mother’s distress by opening the door and following them. My Disney-addled heart is broken. There will be no happy ending for a little racoon broken and slowed.

I saw the saw the chimpanzee documentary. A mother and baby too close too some male fight action. The baby gets bits, his spine is injured. The mother carries him around for weeks. Finally, unable to fend for himself, he dies.

Life can be so cruel.

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