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(Too bad little raccoons aren't eager to use their energies in good ways—but instead they're full of mischief—so have a bad reputation!)

Not by accident the energetic color-blind little raccoon, who sports a "bandit's mask" around his bright eyes, has been given vision well suited for nocturnal adventures, since he can sense even the dimmest of gredn light waves coming from the starry heavens. Those same green light waves are used in weaponry called "starlight scopes" put in the hands of our military in recent decades. But that ability was given to the mischievous raccoon long centuries ago by his Creator! More than this, the raccoon has been given such a broad auditory range that he can not only hear tones up to 85 kHz, but, not by accident, he can also hear quiet sounds underground made by earthworms (a favorite delicacy of these playful mammals, who then dig up the supper they just heard moving beneath them).

One of the most noticeable features of the raccoon is their paws. The front and back paws each have five "fingers" that end in a non-retractable claw that is razor sharp on its tip. That, too, is not by accident. They climb almost anywhere when in danger—straight up the side of a tree, a wooden post, or a wall. With their hand-like front paws they pick up their food with their "fingers" and bring it to their mouths. Those same fingers will be used to reach down into the water at a river or seaside and take a favorite live morsel that might include a small snake, a crayfish, a frog, snail or clam. Or they go into a field and take an ear of sweet corn, have a bite or two—and go on to another ear. They can be satisfied with fruits and veggies—or birds' eggs. The key word is they are adaptable! A raccoon does well in town or in the country. An orphaned baby raccoon can be returned to the wild and survive—or stay with humans and do well—even if the humans become dismayed with its behavior! A raccoon often takes its food to water to wash it. If water is not nearby, the raccoon will sometimes go through the motion of washing its food. (The Latin word for its species is lotor: "the washer"). Some close observers, knowing the raccoon has little saliva in his mouth, believe moistening the food is a not-by-accident gift that helps them swallow their food more easily. Another not-by-accident gift given raccoons is a dual cooling system: they can both sweat and pant. This is a significant aid for an animal with a heavy layer of under-fur, prepared for cold weather.

The raccoon's mental abilities are above and beyond what would be expected at first glance of an adorable-appearing creature the size of a medium-sized dog, only with rings around his bushy tail. His appearance is so appealing it often brings out the urge in many folk to have them as pets. That, almost always, proves to be a mistake since at times they freely use their 40 sharp teeth to inflict real damage on the very hands that lovingly feed them. What seems difficult for some to remember is that they ARE wild animals. In addition, their dexterity with their fingers and generally determined attitude will soon demonstrate that nothing can truly be kept from their curious minds and hands. (Opening toothpaste tubes are one thing, opening cupboard doors and emptying contents, opening jars, and tool chests and flour sacks are another.) Garbage cans seem to tempt them just for fun. Research proves they are able, not by accident—in a few tries—to figure out complex mechanical locks. So God gave these creatures brains that can solve puzzles—and three years later they remember again exactly how to do it. They are smart! Unfortunately they don't always use their brains wisely.

Intelligent but destructive, we can hardly wait until the new earth when no creature will hurt or be hurt in God's earth made new. Then well be able to truly "love on" these "baby bandits" that appeal to us so much now.

Surely God who made and loves all His creatures is even more anxious for that day to come, don't you think?


"NOT BY ACCIDENT" (c) Juanita Kretschmar is used by permission and was first published in the book "Not By Accident" 3 page 33

Picture originally found here

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