As a counselor and a retired professional mom, I must say:
Raccoons are incorrigible wasters, ruiners of all things good, heartless beasts that care neither about boundaries nor animal rights. Their ability and seeming desire to inflict gross horror is limitless.
As people who tend six hens, our job was keeping them safe at night in their own warm place during the past winter, and one we did not mind at all. In fact, I found myself enjoying the challenge and making sure my hennies had fun treats to ease their trials during the cold. I carried all sorts of tidbits down the hill to them, through all sorts of weather, and thawed their water tank I-don’t-know-how-many times, even adding sugar to it, to assure meeting their energy needs. I literally had one of them eating from my hand.
And that one is among the five survivors, I’m glad to say.
We lost one, in a most horrific way, which I will not detail here.
And I had nearly to rebuild our chicken coop and to visit them often, really often. Hourly. And they were terrified, of course, and were slow to re-learn their trust of me.
Today, though, when they hear my footsteps approaching their little home, although they still grow very still, as if trying to be unnoticeable, if I call out to them, they answer me with seeming great excitement.
And another one is learning to eat from my hand.
That feels good.