Sunday, April 20, 2014

the great raccoon

the great raccoon's main concern is that you hide 12 easter eggs, and only find 11. if you have done this, you have left an offering for the great raccoon, and he is sure to not curse you with terrible luck in the coming year. the great raccoon is a mythical creature, like the great pumpkin and the easter bunny himself, but the great raccoon is keeping track, and he doesn't like it if you hold your egg hunt indoors, or only have chocolate or marshmallow bunnies.

some people think they can get better luck by losing, say, an entire half-dozen eggs; in fact our quaker meeting has done this a number of times, back when we had campouts on easter and people brought all kinds of eggs for the little kids, and we couldn't even keep track of how many there were or where we had hidden them. but the fact is, you can't win the lottery just by losing a whole half-dozen eggs; in fact, our campouts began to be rained out and were rained out for a number of years in a stunning show of bad luck, for bad luck for a campout is when you can't even make a fire because the wood is too wet. but back to the great raccoon's promise: it's not that you'll have good luck, or great luck, it's only that you'll ward off the truly terrible luck of the ones who are so out of touch with the forces of nature, they wouldn't know a raccoon if they saw one.

sure, a raccoon has that mask on; he's gray and black, he's not all pink and cheerful like the easter bunny. he's kind of a king of the underworld, since he comes round at night and he's always looking for lost eggs, or fallen graham crackers, or a burnt marshmallow that some kid wouldn't eat. he's not especially friendly, either, he sneaks around, doesn't really like people all that much and even shows his teeth if you get too close. but don't confuse him with the possum, the true ghost of the underworld. the great raccoon does live in a very human-oriented environment; he cares about your offering; he cares about your delicate balance with nature; he accepts your offering gratefully and wards off bad luck, as you are the kind of person who gives to nature, a colored egg, as an offering to the great outdoors, and the great raccoon.

this easter there were a few more kids. texas had a rare spring rain, and things were unusually green, so the pink and yellow eggs stood out and most were found quickly. some were plastic and had jelly beans in them; the raccoon doesn't care for them, not so much because of the jelly beans but because he can't even open them. they however will last an entire year, whereas a true egg will get hauled off and devoured within a week. though boiled dyed eggs in our house sit around generally until i get around to eating them, this year i have some competition in that two young children who just joined us actually like eating them and have a voracious ability to find them out in the wild amongst the wood pieces in the woodpile, and the little tufts of grass. still, though, i think, the great raccoon got his, so all's well with the world, and it might even rain again tonight, which would be glorious, and a real blessing for a very dry texas.

may the great raccoon help us out of this miserable drought, and make it so the water we put on our grass and dirt doesn't just evaporate right away, before it goes anywhere where anything can make a living off of it.


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