Raccoons

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One night on Lummi Island we heard funny noises outside. We went out with a flashlight to look around. In a fir tree by the porch we saw six glowing eyes. They belonged to three raccoons. They were as interested in us as we were in them. They played around for a long time, and we enjoyed watching them.

Mr. Eldred, our neighbor across the road, had trouble with raccoons getting into his vegetable garden. They especially like his corn. The trouble was they would take an ear of corn and just eat one or two bites of it and get another ear and do the same thing over and over again.

If they had just taken one ear and eaten that, I don't think Mr. Eldred would have objected. This was just too much so he put out a trap to trap them alive. Then he could take them up to the mountain and release them there.

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They were too smart for him. He didn't catch any, so he tried putting out a radio that played all the time. That made them stop coming.

Raccoons have yellow-black fur, black masklike markings across the eyes, and a long black-ringed tail. Their legs are short. Each foot has five toes, and the bottoms of their feet are bare.

The small tracks, resembling a human hand in shape, may lead from a hollow tree into mischief.

Raccoons are very active at night. They are playful and mischievous. Raccoons are also good swimmers.

Raccoons kept as pets have learned to turn on faucets, open latches, turn knobs, and do other things that get them into trouble. They weigh about 20 pounds. They have two to seven babies at a time, born in the spring.

If they are still around next summer, I would like to try making friends with them.

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