The mask said everything. This was a thief. A schemer and a thief. Rocky Raccoon. He arrived from Los Angeles in a small wooden box when he was three weeks old. A corner of the box was broken open and the tip of his snout stuck out, trying to get a sense of things. He looked like a drowned rat when I got him home and set him free. I felt sorry for him because everything was bewildering. He soon gave up running around the house and curled up beside me on the sofa. He deeply slept and figured things out.

Rocky grew into a fine raccoon. He was also quite decadent. He had to be woken in the mornings, he would sleep sprawled on his back like a beer drinker. His ears would literally slide down the side of his head when he slept. When you woke him and he figured out who he was, he would hurriedly arrange his ears back over his head like a lady whose wig had slipped at the vicar’s. Get his eyeholes back over his eyes. Raccoons don’t seem very attached to their skins. They can turn inside them like romper suits, spin round in a flash and bite. Rocky didn’t bite, but he could spin in his skin.

On Coyotes
A Prize