My husband and I were recently looking for a cute Colorado-ish stuffed toy for our one-year-old grand-niece. He liked a completely unacceptable river otter—not cute, not soft enough, and who ever recognizes a river otter? I rejected a skunk that was, despite its soft cuddliness, still a skunk. I also rejected a stuffed eagle. Who cuddles with a bird?
The raccoon, though, was adorable. It was squishy and cute with a winsome face. My husand took one look and said...well, I won't repeat what he said. He has spent untold hours reroofing our porch because raccoons keep ripping up the shingles. He once intervened in a middle-of-the-night raccoon attack on our neighbor's chickens, managing to save only one chicken and then having to clean up dead chicken parts from all over our yard. He has set live traps and captured seven different raccoons, as well as three cats and a skunk. (The raccoons were hauled off to the river bottom. The cats were released. The skunk....well, that one took, on my part, a Google search for what to do and, on his part, a blanket, a long stick, and a bit of courage.)
Little Liza will not be getting a stuffed raccoon for Christmas.
I decided not to even broach the idea of a stuffed squirrel. My husband holds a serious grudge against the squirrels in our yard simply because they keep eating my car. Literally. Twice now, they have crawled inside the engine and chewed away wires in order to make more room for a huge nest. Still, I have not lost my fondness for the cute little critters—perhaps because I am not the one who has spent many hours rewiring the car.
Little Liza will not be getting a stuffed squirrel, either.