Close Encounter

by Tom Swift

It was just like that old Alfred Hitchcock silhouette. Except in this case it wasn’t an iconic storyteller but a large raccoon.

Early a.m. You and the little buddy are on the couch. First you hear the patter on the roof. Initially sounds like ice cracking. Until it doesn’t. Because whatever it is it’s moving. Now it might be on the walls. You turn. The visitor’s outline projects onto your window shade.

And it’s not still.

Could be the start of a Hitchcock production now that you think about it.

You look out the kitchen window and see the raccoon along the top of your fence. It’s dark. You are not yet into the waking day. You flash a little light to get a look.

He looks back at you. He is about eight feet away.

This is not a young raccoon. Or a small one. How he’s staying on top of your tall fence is a wonder. Spidy raccoon.

Just then he stands on his hind legs and … bows.

Did he just bow?

That looked like a bow.

Was that a bow?

Hey, you there, mister raccoon, did you just bow to me?

The raccoon pivots. You hear his feet amble along on the fence again. He goes back over the corner, from whence he came. Then down the outside. Then across the front lawn. Into what’s left of the night.