I live in a residential neighborhood, in the heart of this big city. With the houses and busy streets around us, not many wild animals come near the vicinity of our home. Together, my brother and I own a handful of pets: four dogs and one cat—all of which have miniature-sized paws. It snowed yesterday, a rather large amount. The ground became covered by this glistening white blanket. As I was walking to my front door this evening, I noticed an unfamiliar set of animal tracks in the snow, not belonging to our dogs or cat.

12.20.12 Raccoon Tracks

They were the tracks of a raccoon (and I’m assuming the one I had encountered, face-to-face, a couple months back). What enormous paws it had, so strange and absolute! I retraced its steps as my own, studying the stride of the animal and the positioning of its feet as it hiked. Then, I got to thinking… If it hadn’t snowed last night, I would never have known that the raccoon had come so near to my home. The snow had captured its attendance, like a fossil in the ice. Of all the wildlife living just beyond our hills, who knows how close we come to sometimes crossing paths with one? Every animal is amazing. Interesting and unique. I’m energized to know that a raccoon likes to wander in my yard…

I have the snow to prove it.

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© 2012 by Stephanie Himmelman. All Rights Reserved

No part of my writing may be reproduced, published, distributed, copied or displayed.

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