Thomas Doty – Storyteller

Siskiyou Pass

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Raccoons

At 3 in the morning, after the bars have closed and the last drunk has squealed his tires toward home, the raccoons whir through Ashland.

From their hobo camps along the tracks they yelp and grunt and snort through the moonlight, hushing the crickets, raising the hackles on neighborhood cats. They raid dumpsters and backyard compost bins and rinse their grub in the water dishes of terrorized dogs. They bicker over turf and lurk beyond the glare of street lamps.

Rowdy and singular, with Wild West carelessness, raccoons whir through Ashland after the bars are dark, the last bit of wildness in this tamed tourist town.