Too close

I saw a raccoon on my bike ride, right in the middle of the highly-traveled, well-populated park.  It was the middle of the afternoon, not dark, not all that overcast, and in the spot where I saw it, there were half a dozen people running, walking, and biking in both directions on the path RIGHT NEXT TO THE RACCOON.  There was also a guy on a bench nearby watching it.  I sent him a “Was that really a raccoon?” incredulous look, and he gave me a “Seems to be.  What can you do?” shrug in return.  I know Eugene is in the Pacific Northwest, and by definition, that makes it closer to nature than anywhere else I’ve lived, but I think today’s encounter (fine, “encounter”) took it a step too far.

The raccoon was in the grass between the sidewalk and the trees (with the river on the other side of the trees), and it was barely in the grass – less than a foot from the sidewalk, I think.  It was HUGE – bigger than Roxy, smaller than Riley – and it had its front paws on the ground and its back arched like a cartoon cat.  Really big head.  I didn’t have much time to think about it, but if I’d been any further away when I saw it, I might not have ridden by it so close.  I whizzed by with no more than 3 feet in between us, I think.  It happened so quickly I didn’t have time to be nervous.

Fact: raccoons don’t look so cute when they’re that big and that close.


  1. momma betty

    Raccoons scare me to death.Especially when they don’t run away. Unnatural behavior can signal rabies. Yikes! And I don’t think squirrels are very cute either. But bunnies are.

  2. Zannah

    Did I tell you about the squirrel staring at me through my office window the other week? Cute but also…not okay.

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