1) We’ll start with the list topper: raccoons. Not usually known for trouncing around mid-day, these ones. G, the dogs and I were making our customary morning rounds in the buggy, trekking down a new street, when I heard the most peculiar sound. Not a bird. Not a squirrel. I was getting my phone out to record the strangely concerned voice chattering from some nearby bushes when a monster mama raccoon sped out and up a gutter pipe with remarkable velocity. Velocity really is the word here—this mama looked to weigh a good 20-25 pounds. Good eats in the neighborhood. Anyway, I’d have had it on video, but Sophie and Lucy went apeshit (Sophie and Lucy being the reason, no doubt, we flushed out mama in the first place) and in their tangled jerking towards the gutter pipe lodged the leash around the wheel of G’s buggy, nearly dragging him along with them. Up the roof she went, and just as she neared the peak, out popped a smaller head from the adjoining incline. Ah, baby raccoon (actually, more like prepubescent)! Now the concerned chattering makes sense. The six of us spent about five minutes eyeing each other with wonder, appetite, and suspicion, according to our animal natures. I couldn’t get a decent picture for the life of me (though using a filter in Photoshop called “anisotropic diffuse” makes what I did get more interesting). G spent the rest of our walk pointing to roofs and vocalizing something along the lines of “Eh? Eh!”

2) Innocently admiring the neighbors’ Little Tikes playhouse (G points and grunts “Eh! Eh! Eh!” every time we pass) will sometimes illicit an entirely unprovoked, “You want it?” Boy, won’t Jonah be excited! Thank you Bob, kindly neighbor (who will, no doubt, be glad to reclaim a good section of his smallish backyard).

3) Tooth fairies sometimes lose their stash. It’s bound to happen. Our resident fairy (we’ll call him Carl) bought a two-pack of “dark” action figures. After depositing Dark Spiderman under J’s pillow in exchange for his first naturally-occurring lost tooth, Fairy Carl proceeded to hide Dark Wolverine in anticipation of number two. Not long after, number two was rather prematurely extracted by an excited and anticipatory J. Fairy Carl couldn’t for the life of him remember exactly where he’d hid Dark Wolverine. A late late night trip to Wal-Mart was executed, a suitable replacement found. Today I discovered missing Wolverine still housed in his plastic wrapping within a plastic bag inside of a coffee box that had fallen off the shelf in the laundry room. Those fairies and their hiding places. I suspect the presence of another mischievous imp somewhere on the grounds. John has, several times, suspected our home to be haunted. Whether the spirits are foul or fair, he will not say. We’ve been trying to get a priest over here for a year to flush them out.

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