Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ricky the Raccoon

NOTE: I believe all "editorial" changes have been made and that this version passes the Hambly "Truth in Blogging" assessment... :))

One day my Mom decided that a racoon would make a perfect pet. Off to Sylmar went Mom and Kent. Ricky became a member of the family.

We lived in Sepulveda and we were in high school. We had a tree in one corner of the yard and Kent built a beautiful cage for Ricky.

Ricky was one nasty pet. No matter what you did to be friends, this pet was no friend of yours.
I just remember a lot of teeth and hissing and snarling.

Well, the big Hambly summer Fourth of July party was upon us. My Dad would invite a bunch of people from work to a pool party at our house. The party was in full swing (More about this later) and it turned darkish.

Now the fireworks show starts in the park behind our house! Ricky is going nuts!! Somehow the raccoon gets out of the cage! Kent moved quickly to retrieve Ricky - who had darted up the tree near his cage. The pet was nearly at the top of the tree by this time - and refusing to come down!

Kent came up with a quick plan...remember, this was going on while the backyard was full of my Dad's co-workers in full party mode. He got out the hose and proceeded to train the hose on the top of the tree, above Rocky. In this way he could "walk" the raccoon down. Well, for awhile Ricky was having none of this! He just sat there getting drenched in the water spray.

Eventually Ricky started, ever so slowly, to retreat towards the base of the tree.

When he reached the ground, he made a break for the swimming pool area - where the people were "playing". Kent was in hot pursuit of the pet. He caught him on the backstretch and grabbed whatever of the raccoon he could get his hands on. Unfortunately, the raccoon bit whatever he could get his teeth on!

So there was Kent with a raccoon firmly imbedded between his thumb and forefinger!! The raccoon was literally hanging by his teeth from Kent's hand. What with the claws and tail and other dangerous parts Kent had to deal with all of a sudden... what with all the people who were drunk out of their minds and watching the show... what with the fireworks making the raccoon even crazier (if that was possible)...

Kent is running around the pool (counterclockwise if you are keeping score) and trying to get away from the drunk people.

He makes it to the cage again and double locks Ricky back into his home.

Just another night at the annual Hambly Fourth of July Pool Party!

Eventually we had to depart with Ricky...racoons do not make the greatest pets, as things turned out...

The departure was sad for Kent - he had grown very attached to Ricky. Kent, Ruth and Dave took Ricky to Chatsworth Park to say goodbye. As they released Ricky to the wild, a beautiful movie moment developed - Ricky scurrying toward the bush - another racoon scurrying toward Ricky - their noses touch - they walk together, racoon and racoon, toward the great wild of Chatsworth, only to be met by two other racoons. The sun sets.

We know that life has been good for Ricky!