Wildlife Count by Debbie O'Rourke: Humber Bay Park East, Toronto

Injured raccoon: crayon drawing

May 17: Today, I found a young raccoon. He was all hunched up and his fur looked bad, so I thought he might be sick. I sat down to watch him, a safe twenty feet away. I saw that he was not sick but badly injured. He couldn't use his hind leg at all and he seemed stiff all over. I normally don't feed wild animals. I don't really want that kind of relationship with them, and our food is even worse for them than it is for us.
But he's helpless and this may be his last day on earth. So a little cautious compassion won't damage either of us. I very carefully approached him and gave him some of my lunch. He snarled weakly when I was about five feet away so I put down the food there for him. I saw then that he also had a cut on his shoulder, and he had lost most of his tail. He ate, and I gave him some water in the bottom of my coffee cup before moving on. All sick and dying things ask for water. It is the most beautiful, most precious compound on earth.

When I carved him onto the log, I made him whole again: gave him back his beautiful tail.

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