“Mama! Mama! Come quick! You’ve gotta see this.” The sun is barely rising, but Siena nudges me awake and drags me out of bed, holding my hand and guiding me down the stairs.
Out the front door we go, where I see the gardener, up early and cutting overgrown grass with a machete. Siena passes him and leads me to the corner of the yard, where she has made a nest of leaves and flowers, and on top of the flowers lie the tiniest animals I’ve ever seen. They’re just over an inch long, hairless, and with fused eyes, clearly they’re brand newborn, whatever they are.
Siena says, “Look Mama! They’re baby raccoons! The gardener told me so.” They looked more like baby field mice to me, but who am I to argue with an empassioned 6 year old? I compromised by calling them “rat-coons.”
They are rolling around and making a whole bunch of noise for animals so teensy. They’re squirming and opening and closing their mouths and Siena is picking them up and holding them. They are no longer than her pinky finger.
Then she asks what I saw coming. “Mama, he says their mama abandoned them, and they will die if we leave them here. Can we take them inside?”