By Roy and Jo Ann Lovelace
Jane is one of those people that simply cannot stand to even think of something being hungry. I mean she feeds the birds all year around. She buys corn to feed the squirrels that live near her place. She  buys carrots for the rabbits to eat. Her husband, E. G. said jokingly that she spent more feeding the wildlife than she did feeding him. Jane allowed that with more and more people living around here, them little critters need some help.

One day a raccoon came by and Jane figured it was hungry, so she gave the little feller a bowl of corn because she didn't have anything else that she thought he might eat. E. G. warned her that feeding raccoons would cause them to stay with you forever but she fed it anyway. In a few days she noticed that it was taking a lot more birdseed, corn for the squirrels, and even more dog and cat food, for her little dog, Shiloh and Rebel her cat.

A couple weeks after she fed that rascal, she went out to find the lids had been removed from her garbage cans. E. G. told her that it was her raccoon that did it, he said it was looking for something to eat.

Jane decided to keep an eye on the other wild critter's food for a day or two just to see why it was taking so much. She found that the raccoon not only ate birdseed and the squirrel's corn but he was eating up Rebel's cat food and Shiloh's dog food too. It seemed that the raccoon was eating more dog and cat food than Shiloh and Rebel was.

Jane took the dog and cat food into the house and put all the wild critter food into a metal cans and tied the lids down to keep the raccoon out. Then she enlisted the help of a trapper that lived near by. The trapper said that the most effective bait for raccoons was vanilla wafers and so he used those for bait. He used the humane traps so he could relocate the raccoon to a far away place. So far the big raccoon has managed to elude the trap but he eats the bait out of it without discharging the trap then goes away laughing. And so the battle goes on.

The other day we were walking our dog, Sami around the pasture fields when we heard a dog barking. We just figured somebody in the neighborhood had got a new dog since we didn't recognize that one's bark. Our place joins E. G. and Jane's place so our walk takes us to where we can see Shiloh's doghouse and stuff like that. As we got closer to the place where we could see Shiloh, we could hear some fierce growling along with that incessant barking.

Jane's cat, Rebel had both paws wrapped around his food bowl. His claw were sunk deep into the bowl. Rebel was hissing and growling, and daring the raccoon to come anywhere nears his food.

There was a squirrel sitting in top of the large oak tree. It was chattering and throwing what we first thought were nuts at the raccoon. But, then we saw it was throwing rocks from a basket. We came to the conclusion that the squirrel must have borrowed the basket from the Easter Bunny, so it could carry more rocks up the tree at one time .

The groundhogs that live on our place went up to cheer them on in their efforts to get rid of that little masked critter, although the raccoon wasn't bothering anything they were eating. Raccoons must not like orchard grass, dandelions and clover. Muddy Creek Marvin whistled the loudest. Tri City Traci was making a growling sound, and Haskel Too was shaking his little fist at the raccoon.

The birds were circling overhead, screeching and  swooping down, threatening to peck the raccoon, because it had pulled the lids from the metal cans and ate all their seeds.

The rabbit twins that Jane had been feeding grabbed their carrots and took off toward the woods grumbling. They had no intentions of letting the raccoon get any of their food.

When we could see what was going on, Sami and both of us just sat down and laughed. There stood Shiloh hovering over her dog food bowl growling and stomping all around it.  About three feet beyond Shiloh's reach crouched the raccoon and that thing was barking its fool head off, at Shiloh. Brandi, Cheyenne and Amanda, our horses heard us laughing and ran down to the lower barnyard fence to see what we were laughing about. When they saw what was going on they begin to laugh too. That old raccoon sure was embarrassed being horse laughed.

I think before this is over they may have to get the park rangers to come and trap that critter and carry it off to the mountains before it decides to eat a hole through their house and raid the refrigerator.