Living out in the country as we do, It's easy to form mental attachments to certain wild creatures. The latest one to tug at our heartstrings is a young raccoon. We're calling him Wimbley. I noticed him Tuesday as I was throwing corn out for the creatures. It seemed strange that he was out in the full daylight, and even stranger that he didn't run from me. Instead, he ambled to an old oak tree nearby and climbed slowly, resting frequently, to a crotch in the tree, about 20 feet up.
I saw him the next day, briefly, and then, on Thursday, there was a showdown. While he was eating, a short distance from the same tree, 7 vultures surrounded him. We seldom see those ugly creatures close to the house, and I wondered, not for the first time, about Wimbley's well being. But he certainly had spunk. While a wild turkey provided backup, he tried to intimidate the vultures with his fiercest snarl. When that didn't deter them, he simply ignored them, and ate his corn. One by one, they shuffled off.
Wimbley was staying closer to the base of the tree today, and no surprise, we discovered he has an injured front leg. Most likely, he was abandoned by his family when they moved to a different location, and he couldn't make the trip. Now, he has a little water, and a little dog food, and a new name. And of course, a little piece of our hearts.