Several years ago my family went camping in a park filled with beautiful redwood trees and ferns–two of my favorite plants.
We enjoyed a pleasant, relaxing day and evening–-until shortly after we tried to go to sleep. Our then-teen-age son had brought a separate small tent to sleep in, but the pole for it had gotten broken. He decided to sleep under the stars next to a large redwood tree. That turned out to be a mistake that none of us will ever forget.
He fell asleep, but soon afterwards felt a nudge. In his sleep, he dreamt that our dog was nudging him. The shaking became more insistent. He became awake enough to realize that he wasn’t dreaming and that something was pushing him from inside a large hole at the base of the tree!
His startled yells mixed with other screeches and noisy shuffling woke us all up. We rushed to look out the tent to see what was creating the commotion. Through blurry eyes in the near-darkness we saw our sleeping-bag-wrapped son rapidly rolling away from the tree. Then out of the hole in the tree stormed a large and very indignant mama raccoon and her babies. If looks could kill, our son would have been a goner for sure!
As the furry family scurried off into the night, we realized what had happened. Our son had inadvertently blocked their way out of the path when he had laid near the hole in the tree. His slumber had kept these nocturnal creatures from their evening meal and they were getting hungry.
So, the mama did what she had to do to make sure that her family was fed.
We eventually calmed down and had a good laugh at the pandemonium that had occurred.
Our son wisely decided to sleep in the car for the rest of the night.
That was one mad mama!
It’s been many years since that night, but to this day every time my wife and I see a raccoon or a picture of one, we grin and share knowing looks.
Some memories just get better with age!