Tuesday, February 8, 2022


I'm in a foul mood today. A car or truck must have hit a massive raccoon across the street from my place. It ended up deceased about a metre north of my rural mailbox. If you've never lived in the country before, here's an important piece of advice: never aggravate the mail delivery driver. One way of aggravating them is not to shovel the area around your mailbox in winter. If you do that, you're never getting mail. She'll keep it in her truck till the cows come home, and she won't tell you either. I like getting mail, so I try to be a good citizen and keep a wide swath of roadside shovelled. Sometimes it's a battle with the municipal snowplough, but since I'll never win that battle, I keep my shovel close at hand. Anyway, the raccoon. It appeared to be giftwrapped in red ribbon, which seemed unnecessarily festive. It took me a while to realize that raccoon entrails look like red ribbon. I began to notice more crows than usual circling over my property, and realizing that they could be my allies in this situation, I figured I'd give them space. But I haven't had mail for a few days, and I was pretty sure Vanessa, the Bringer of Mail, would consider a dead raccoon to be an offense against her as an individual, and against Canada Post Corporation as a whole. So I got out my snow shovel, walked several metres north of my mailbox, and dug a large flat section into a snowbank, a bit farther back from the gravel shoulder of the road. I walked back to the scene of the crime, loaded the deceased onto the snow shovel, and trudged back to the plateau I'd dug into the snowbank. Having deposited the raccoon onto its new resting place, I offered a brief but heartfelt prayer, trying not to breathe, and added a few words of thanks for crows....and for Vanessa. Because I'd really enjoy getting some mail this week.

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