Back in December 2014 we visited Freddy Raccoon on Christmas Eve. And related this story—Freddy Raccoon’s Christmas Present https://lochgarry.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/freddy-raccoons-christmas-present/
Now it December 2017 Freddy has become friends with some new inhabitants. As Freddy was sitting in his home wondering when the first snow was coming—because he knew that the first snow was a good indicator of Christmas, Waterton, the Wolverine came down the tunnel.
Waterton had arrived in the Summer of last year. He was a refugee from a defunct zoo 50 miles up the road to the East.
It seems that the owners one day just abandoned their charges, and left the cage doors ajar. It appeared they had run-ins with the law in previous locales in procuring their animals. Ethics was not a philosophy they embraced nor did they practice humane treatment of their caged money makers.
To say the people of the village were shocked when an elephant and tiger strolled down Main Street would be a rhetorical statement. It was one thing to see animals behind bears, but to see them roaming free was just too dang scary.
It took sometime before Freddy and Waterton became friends. At first Freddy was wary of Waterton.
His grandfather Horace had told him that wolverines were killers, and raccoons and wolverines could not co-exist in the same area. However, back in the Summer of last year Freddy was heading over to the blueberry brushes when he first encountered Waterton.
For several minutes they stared at each other. Waterton made the first move, coming over to Freddy and smelling him.
Freddy, being a gentle soul, allowed this intrusion of his personal space. The first thing Freddy noticed was the smell. A true assault on his olfactory sense!
Waterton did not seem very aggressive, just curious. Unknown to Freddy, Waterton had been captured as a baby and grew up in his enclosure at the zoo. He had no other wolverines to learn the natural behavior of the wild.
It just happened that Waterton was heading to the same blueberry bushes as Freddy. After this brief introduction, they traveled to the plum orchard to enjoy their repast.
Over time they hunted together at night. Freddy adapted to Waterton’s smell.
So tonight they were going down to the old fishing pond to catch supper. The pond had not frozen over, and the fish were still as dumb as a dead tree stump when it came down to these two predators.
I guess there is nothing like raw bass on a polar December night in the last days of Autumn. After they had their fill, they headed back to their respective dens.
Their relationship had not always been tranquil. Freddy found Waterton one night last year scouting out the farm of Thaddeus Q. Jones, IV.
There was a newly arrived litter of kittens. To Freddy they were future friends, but to Waterton they were a delicacy for the taking.
Waterton was almost three-years old. His natural instincts were flowering, especially for fresh meat.
In the zoo he rarely had a piece of meat except for some chicken bones tossed into his enclosure by the daughter of the owners, but she scared Waterton with her yelling. His diet was mostly whatever was left over from the garbage. He came to hate buttered popcorn and rutabaga.
Freddy understood Waterton’s nature, and fresh meat was his first preference. However, Freddy knew there would be severe consequences if Waterton raided the barn or the tempting chicken coup.
In a language which only nocturnal creatures can understand, Freddy warned Waterton what would happen to him if he gave in to his true nature. That was when Waterton decided Freddy was a true friend and not a future gourmet meal.
In the zoo Waterton was alone in his enclosure. When people came, he would hide in the rocks and pretend to be asleep because he sensed that people were dangerous.
This belief had been verified when he was in two counties over in late September. Hunters took some shots at him. He was minding his own business eating a honey crisp apple which had fallen from the tree in the previous night’s rain storm.
Fortunately, their English setters were off in a different direction. He got away and vowed never to go back to that place again, even though that apple was so sweet and juicy.
Returning to the present, when Waterton returned to his den he sniffed the air. Snow was definitely in the December air.
He loved snow because it was nature’s refrigerator. He had a place picked out by a decrepit oak fence. It would make a good place to store whatever he found in the months to come.
Freddy had sniffed the air as well. He knew snow was coming, and on Christmas Eve he would be given his Christmas pickle.
He wondered if Waterton would like to share that pickle. Perhaps, two pickles would be better.
Waterton was not known for sharing food. Christmas Eve or not, a wolverine is always a wolverine like his friend Jackman believed.
G. D. Williams © 2017
In French the wolverine is carcajou. They are shy creatures, but they can be provoked and become vicious fighters.
Listed below are some facts about raccoons and wolverines. Keep in mind that they are wild animals and can be dangerous if provoked.