Page:Babyhood of Wild Beasts.djvu/62

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lasses, sugar, and even butter and lard tempt them.

The babies are born in a hollow tree, which is the favourite home of the Raccoon. There are five or six in a litter. The little chaps grow rapidly and are soon able to join the nocturnal rambles with father and mother, for Mr. and Mrs. Coon are night prowlers. Most of their fun and their hunting is carried on a night. They sleep during the day and therefore escape many dangers from hunters who eagerly seek their pelts and from larger animals who hunt them for food.

I was the happiest girl in the world the day I was presented with a baby raccoon. He was a round, squirming ball of grey fur beautifully striped with black markings, two black eyes as bright as new shoe buttons, and a little, pointed, black nose. But the most beautiful thing about him was his bushy grey tail striped with black. He sniffed at me inquiringly, hardly daring to make friends on so short acquaintance. I reassured him as best I could and waited for him to make the first advances.

I turned him loose in our big country home and