When Raccoons Come a Ringin’

Why It’s Comforting to Live in the Country

We have three people from Goshen, MA who come to Elmer’s every Sunday for breakfast. They are a family: a brother (Dana), a sister and the brother’s wife. There used to be another brother, but he died recently and we miss him. He always ordered hot chocolate with two and a half inches of whipped cream on top.

While I always hate it when younger people tell me I’m an inspiration to them in the world of growing older, these people really are a sure sign of enjoyable living to me when I get to be their age, and I believe they are a fair bit older than I am. But they have so dang much fun, and they dress well, so I enjoy them tremendously when they come in.

Last Sunday they were telling me that their late brother Henry had long complained that someone was ringing his doorbell in the middle of the night. “Did you ever see anyone ring your doorbell?”

“No, I got up and looked outside, and there was never anyone there.”

Henry had also had dementia for a while, so, since they live out in the middle of nowhere, they blessed his heart and kept on going. And then Henry died and they kind of forgot about the midnight doorbell ringer.

Last week, Dana heard someone honking the horn of his car. Faintly at first, but then, unmistakably his car. Middle of the night. A guy afraid of nothing, Dana got up to look and then saw that his headlights were flashing.

“Pretty stupid car thief!” he thought, as he stormed outside to see what in the Sam Hill was going on.

. . . and found that a raccoon had climbed in through the open window of his car and was honking the horn. And then he had turned the flashers on. When he saw Dana coming, he jumped out of the car and ran off toward Henry’s old house.

Rolling up his window, Dana thought about Henry’s mystery night visitor and thought about how the doorbell was located just above the porch railing and how the doorbell was lit up at night and Dana thought, “A haaaa!”


Nan Parati - Elmer's StoreNan Parati

Nan is the proprietor of Elmer’s Store in Ashfield, MA. A New England transplant from the Deep South, Nan shares her southern wit, wisdom and charm in her column, “Notes from Nan.”  nanparati@aol.com

One Comment on “When Raccoons Come a Ringin’

  1. When I was a teen, “Racky” would come around – we always knew because s/he would make such a racket. My mom finally build a large holder for the garbage cans so that Racky could get in and dig out what s/he wanted without knocking them over. I know, don’t feed them – but really, this fella figured out every way to get in so we figured, let him, just without the mess.

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