When the Raccoons Came to Visit

The lawn feels good under my back, spiky and cold as I look up at the night exploding with color.

“Hey, look,” Mom says, pointing. “Raccoons across the street.”

I glance up at the furry little creatures, making their curious noises that always have reminded me of a vacuum cleaner. They’re nosing around our neighbor’s trash cans, and one of them hones in on us.

“Hey, I think they’re crossing the street and saying hi to us,” I say in my eight year old exuberance for anything fluffy and animal-like.

“Oh crap,” Mom mutters under her breath as the group of striped hoodlums ambles across the quiet road. “RUN!” She picks me up by the back of my shirt and tosses me to my feet.

“Wha—why?” I ask.

“They could have rabies!” she replies breathlessly as I join her in a run down the driveway to the safety of the house.

We never did get to watch the rest of the fireworks that night.

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