When the Raccoon Falls From the Tree

Our life is super weird.

With five humans in our care, something goofy is bound to happen just about every day.

Take Saturday for example. Our son and I are in the backyard trying to be somewhat manly. We had axes, hand saws, hammers and chain saws.

We had two chain saws because I got the first one stuck. In the tree. The one I was supposed to be cutting.

Super manly.

We’d lost a big tree, the one I wrote about last week. And we’ve been at work on this thing ever since we got a quote for $700 to chop it up and haul it away.

I’m definitely $700 of cuss words, frustration, sore muscles and time into this thing by now. Easily.

Regardless, it was a beautiful day. We were hauling wood to the fire pit to burn.

And out of nowhere, I heard what seemed to be a muffled gun shot, directly behind me. Or at least some cannon ball sounding thud.

Kinda freaked out, I turned around thinking maybe Silas fell or something happened to him.

He was fine but also curious what the bomb scare was.

No bomb. No gunshot. No cannonball.

Just a raccoon.

Laying in the middle of the creek, on a rock, on its back.

A tree that hasn’t fallen stood directly above him, some 100 feet in the air.

It was windy Saturday, and somehow that poor sucker fell out of that tree and into the shallow, rocky creek.

The poor thing was in major pain. And majorly stunned.

It did everything it could to clear the cobwebs and stand up to walk away, but the trauma was evident. Its back legs were shattered.

Maybe it’s the evil part of me, but had Silas been inside playing Fortnight (like he would have certainly preferred), I would have probably finished the job. Or at least let nature run its course.

But remember, I have a weird life. And before I knew it, Silas and his big heart were on the scene.

Then a sister. Then mom. Then another sister.

This raccoon was in bad shape, but lucky for him, he had great care.

Before long, there was a basket, a giant dog kennel and a blanket creek-side, even some string cheese for this varmint. It was a whole family affair to coax this damn animal into the trap, just so we can care for it.

Ricklefs Rehab.

Have you ever seen a raccoon’s feet up close? I have now and they’re terrifying.

The poor thing was scared, I get that, but as we were trying to save it, he basically bit at us and used every last ounce of his strength to try and get away.

But the urgent care team prevailed.

Into the trap…I mean the kennel…it went.

I was hopeful we could open the door in the night and allow the coyotes to meet the raccoon while the kids slept, but that wasn’t in the cards.

The raccoon slept in our garage, in complete comfort. With cat food, more string cheese, a water bowl and a blanket that I’m pretty sure cost at least $30 at Target. It was fuzzier than any single pair of socks that I own.

And come Sunday, Brooke and Rowan drove that recovering raccoon about 30 minutes to a nature sanctuary.

To a real rehab team. And to more raccoon lovers. The ones that care for those sorts of varmints for a living.

There’s no deep point to this story, no real life lesson. Other than to say, if you hear a raccoon fall from your tree, well…don’t let Silas see it.

Unless you want the Ricklefs Rehab unit rushing into your backyard.

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