September 28, 2007

Parrots and Raccoons

LL and I watched The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill this evening. It's one of those movies I've been meaning to see for a long time and just haven't gotten around to it until now. It's a very warm-hearted movie and it was fun to see some very familiar places in San Francisco again. It seems like ages since I lived there, even though it's only been about six years now. I never saw the parrots myself, though, although I'm pretty sure I did cross paths with Mark Bittner a couple of times in a coffee shop.

Still, that's not the main thing that the movie brought to mind for me. Seeing Bittner with the parrots made me think about the raccoons I became friendly with in Tallahassee over the course of nearly three years. I miss having them around and interacting with them a great deal.

We're just coming up on four months since we arrived here in Worcester, which is strange considering how easily this place has become home. In many ways, it feels like I've been living here for a long time, particularly now that I have a routine and a place for hunting mushrooms. I don't even get lost much anymore.

I do miss the raccoons, though. I know that most people think of them as vermin, as problems, and as potential rabies carriers and the like. To LL and I, though, they became very much a part of our lives. Every so often, we still talk about them, particularly when we throw away table scraps. We never did that when we were living at Hobbiton; we'd always put them out for the raccoons. We bought cookies for them and hung out with them practically every night. We saw a couple of generations of cubs grow up and established a good deal of mutual trust with them. Seeing the film brought that back to mind; the relationship we had with those animals wasn't terribly different from the one portrayed between Bittner and the parrots in the film.

We don't have anything like that here. Circumstances are very different now. There's something unique about the experience of becoming friendly with wild animals, though, especially when it's the result of a long process. Maybe we'll live someday in a place where we can form such a relationship again.

I haven't slept in almost twenty-four hours now, so perhaps I'm feeling more emotional about it than I usually would. I hope the pack of monsters is doing alright, though. I hope that nobody moved into the house we lived in in Tallahassee; the place was literally falling apart by the time we left. The landlord almost never made repairs, resulting in faulty wiring (always fun in a wooden house) and a hole in the bathroom ceiling and generally dangerous conditions. If any poor slobs did move into the place, though, I hope they were kind to the raccoons that would show up a half-dozen strong, sometimes more, on their deck and stare through the sliding glass doors. At best, I hope the new occupants got the message and became friendly with the animals, too. It's a worthwhile thing to do so. At the very least, though, I hope that the new residents weren't a cruel lot who did the raccoons harm.

I don't suppose I'll ever know. Raccoons are notoriously bad about keeping in touch.

Sphere: Related Content