Over the hedge

Raccoon prints in the wet concrete were the perfect finishing touch to the new apartment's front step.

When I purchased a small hillside home among the pines in Crestline, a mountain community in California, one of the attractions was an unfinished basement that could be converted into a rental. I immediately contracted to have the space made into an apartment.

A final effort of the contractor was pouring a small, concrete front step for the apartment. When I went down the outside steps to inspect it the next morning, I saw that the wet concrete had preserved for perpetuity two footprints of a visiting raccoon.

When my first renter, a fellow nature lover, arrived, I pointed out the souvenir prints. He immediately dubbed the apartment "Raccoon Retreat."

I was delighted to hear the recorded message on his new telephone when I called to test his new service: "Randy and Rachel Raccoon can't come to the phone right now. Please leave a message."

Willma Gore

Sedona, Ariz.

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