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Mr. Ed

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Books by Mr. Ed
The Saga of Rocky, Rockette, and Bandit
By Mr. Ed
Posted: Sunday, April 15, 2007
Last edited: Monday, April 16, 2007
This short story is rated "G" by the Author.
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           >> View all 53
National Wildlife Week Begins April 21st.









"For if one link in nature's chain might be lost,

Another might be lost,

Until the whole of things will vanish by piecemeal."

Thomas Jefferson



            They lived in a small guestroom, conveniently located just under the large concrete patio of my neighbor’s brick home.  Their mother had renovated it quite nicely.  It was warm, safe, and comfortable.  They were a family.


            One starry, moonlit night, their mother took them for a leisurely stroll through the enormous green forest surrounding their underground den.  They walked and walked for hours.  They had never been this far from home before, and each of the three young children was enjoying this late evening outing with Mom tremendously.  And, each of the three children attentively watched their mother’s every move.


            Eventually, the four of them came upon a great gap in the forest.  It looked to them as if some giant creature had come along and gouged out a path through the trees with its razor sharp claws.  Their mother nervously stopped and peered in every direction.  She also sniffed the warm spring air.  The three children anxiously stood directly behind her, completely bewildered by their strange new surroundings.


And soon, Mother cautiously started walking across this large barren gap in the dark landscape.  Her three children very nervously followed.


Suddenly, a loud, terrifying, rumbling noise descended directly upon them.  And, even worse, bright, frightening lights accompanied the horrifying rumble.  The three children froze in their tracks, as did their mother, in the middle of the large, smooth, black path.


            Mother was dead before the three little ones knew what had happened.  A roaring metallic monster had raced down the smooth black path, its two huge white eyes blazing, and thick black smoke billowing from its enormous head.


            This demon had struck their mother down in an instant.  It had almost gotten them, too.


The now three terrified youngsters raced back into the forest and ran towards their home.  It took them forever to get there.  But they ran on and on and on, never looking back.  They were completely exhausted by the time they crawled back under the concrete patio.


            Once inside their once happy home, the three siblings, Rocky, Rockette, and Bandit, huddled in a dark corner together, silently mourning their terrible loss.  Their mother was gone, and she was never coming back.  What would become of them now?  How would they survive?  Suddenly, their once warm and comfortable home seemed awfully barren and cold.


            These three tiny children huddled in that dark corner for days.  They were too dazed and grief-stricken to move.


Eventually, Bandit, the bravest of the three, slowly got up and ventured out into the terrifying darkness.  Rocky and his sister, Rockette, cautiously followed him.


            Their hunger and their thirst were enormous now.  They hadn’t eaten a thing in days.  They searched for hour upon hour among the strange brick houses surrounding them, but they couldn’t find a single trace of nourishment.  They were now growing weaker and more terrified by the minute.


Towards dawn, they crept back to their tiny home and huddled together in a dark corner once more.  They finally drifted off to a fitful sleep.


            The next evening, they ventured out again and luckily came upon a giant birdbath in the bushes outside one of the brick dwellings.  All three of them drank heartily from it.  The water was cool, refreshing, and invigorating.  They then slowly began nibbling on some birdseed that had fallen to the ground near the birdbath.


Several hours before dawn, they fell fast asleep under the birdfeeder.


That’s where I found them at 5 AM the next morning.  Rocky, Rockette, and Bandit were three tiny, adorable, orphaned raccoons.  And I knew I had to do something to help them.  If I didn’t, they wouldn’t survive much longer.


I immediately began by putting out some cat food for them.  But I soon discovered that they were still much too young to chew any hard food.  They would completely ignore the dry cat food, but they would eagerly lick the moist, syrupy kind.  They would also race back to their burrow whenever I got too close to them.


I also knew that cat food wouldn’t sustain these three little orphans for very long.  I had to come up with a better method of feeding them.  Think, man, think!


 Soon, I began putting out plates of milk, honey, and sugarcoated water.  Again, they would eagerly lick these offerings, but I knew they weren’t getting enough nourishment to survive.


Totally frustrated, I finally called a wildlife refuge near my home for assistance.  The very pleasant and very knowledgeable woman who answered my call listened patiently as I explained my dilemma.


“Are you sure their mother’s dead?  Sometimes a mother raccoon will wander off for a short while.”


“I’m sure.  She’s splattered all over the highway near my house.  A truck must have nailed her.  And, I know where these baby raccoons live.  I’ve watched their burrow, and there’s no adult raccoon around anywhere.”


“OK.  If that’s the case, those babies need raccoon formula.  They need to be fed from a bottle.  If they don’t get the proper nourishment and vitamins soon, they’ll die.”


“Formula and a bottle?”  These baby raccoons won’t let me get near them, let alone pick them up.  And where do I get this raccoon formula anyway?”


“Sir, first you’re going to have to live-trap them.  Then you’re going to have to pick them up, hold them in your arms, and force-feed them the raccoon formula from the bottle.  You can buy it at several pet supply centers in your area.”

“Uh.  OK.  Thanks.”


“Sir, could I make a suggestion?”




“If you manage to trap them in the next few days, before it’s too late, why don’t you bring them here?  We’re much better equipped to nurture those orphaned raccoon babies than you are.”


“Great!  I’ll trap them and bring them right over.  Thanks a lot for all your help!”


I jumped in my truck and raced off to the nearest pet supply center.  I bought some raccoon formula, and several baby bottles.  I already owned several live-traps I used to trap, neuter, and release feral felines.


  I raced back home.  I set out two live-traps and eagerly awaited the arrival of Rocky, Rockette, and Bandit.


They soon showed up, but they wouldn’t go near those live-traps.  No way.  These little guys were much too smart for that.  Now what?


I then tried the old blanket trick I had used on a starving feral cat years ago.  I huddled under that blanket all night.  These three raccoon rascals wouldn’t even come near my blanket, let alone the food I had placed next to it.  Now what?


Thus began my campaign to capture Rocky, Rockette, and Bandit at any cost.  I was determined to help them survive – somehow - and  I spent the next four days and nights chasing them through hell and high water.


I crawled through thick thorny hedges; I crouched in ambush behind tall evergreen bushes; I even climbed the old crab apple tree behind my patio in hot pursuit.  I just couldn’t corral these three wily little critters.


By the morning of the third day of my attempted raccoon roundup, I was exhausted.  But so were my little starving orphans.  And, they were getting weaker by the minute.  I knew I had to capture them soon, or my efforts would be in vain.


At dawn on morning four, I managed to grab and hold on to Rocky.  I sprang out of the thick hedges with little Rocky in my arms directly in front of old Mrs. Jenner’s bay window.  She was just pulling back her curtains for the day.


“Uh.  Hi, Mrs. Jenkins!  Sorry to alarm you.  Just collecting my little raccoon here!”


Mrs. Jenner never shouted back at me.  But as I dashed away from her window, I saw her nervously picking up her telephone.


Oh, God!  I thought.  I hope she’s not calling the police.  I really didn’t want to be arrested on a Peeping Tom charge.  I knew Mrs. Jenner didn’t care too much for me, for wild animals, or for my yapping dogs.  And, my wife would really get a chuckle out of that one.  Knowing her, she might even laugh hysterically and make me sit in jail all night before posting bail!


I raced back to my own patio and placed little Rocky in a small makeshift cage.  Then I ran off after Rockette.  I knew just where she was hiding, too.


I managed to grab her also.  I came out of the evergreen bushes with Rockette held tightly in my arms directly in front of Mrs. Foley’s back window.

Both Mrs. Foley and her beautiful collie, Josh, were already anxiously peering out her window at me.


“Morning, Lucille!  I got one!”


Both Mrs. Foley and Josh smiled back at me.  Mrs. Foley even gave me a big Thumbs Up!  She was definitely an animal person, and A-1 in my book.  At least I had one friendly neighbor left.


I now raced back to my house and jumped in my truck with Rocky and Rockette in their makeshift cage.  They were adorable little creatures, but I knew they were starving , so I rushed them both over to the wildlife preserve as fast as I could.


The kind wildlife rehabilitation folks there assured me that they would do everything in their power to help them survive.  I thanked them profusely and drove home.


I really don’t know if those extremely dedicated folks at the preserve managed to save those two little orphans, but I like to think they did.  I also like to think that both of those raccoons are now happily living free somewhere in a nearby forest, starting families of their own.


As for old Bandit, I never did corral that cagey little critter.  I gave up chasing him up and down trees several days later.  Then he disappeared.  But I really do believe that courageous little raccoon somehow managed to survive on his own.


These days, when I get up in the middle of the night and peer out my back window, I often spot a rather large raccoon sleeping on one of my lounge chairs out back.  It’s the same chair that Jessie, the renegade cat, used to sleep on.


When I spot that big old raccoon, I gently tap on my window, wave, and whisper, “Hi, Bandit!”


That big old raccoon just looks up at me with his large, black, ring-encircled eyes, contentedly curls up again, and goes right back to sleep.  I guess he knows that I’m much too old to be chasing him up and down trees anymore.  And, you know what?  He’s right.


As for Jessie, the renegade cat, she now permanently resides in my basement.  She found an old recliner down there that suits her just fine.  She likes it much better than that old lounge chair out back.


Jessie’s former owner even let me keep her – permanently - since Jessie seems to prefer my home to hers.  I guess I’ve still got a few nice neighbors left, after all.



©2004, Ed Kostro – an Excerpt from Curious Creatures-Wondrous Waifs, My Life with Animals





Reader Reviews for "The Saga of Rocky, Rockette, and Bandit"

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Reviewed by Walt Hardester
If Mrs. Jenkins thought you were strange before, this must have pushed her way over the edge....LOL...
Hat's off to your humanitarian efforts Ed...

Reviewed by Birgit and Roger Pratcher
A great story, told in the most compelling way, we loved it!
Reviewed by Alexandra Midnight
I love this story. Where I live we dont get any raccoons but if a baby raccoon came near my house or any other hurt animal I would take it as my job to help them. Once a emassead (looked emassead) dog came by my house and I threw it some treats but she ran. I love that you helped them though I would have done the same thing. When I go camping at Maple Wood State Park we get alot of raccoons roaming around at night and it is accuatly really fun to whatch these little critters. ONe year they got in to our coller and ate our food than the next night a big family of them came and visted us at our campfire and kept trying to inch futher futher just close enough to get some food. We wouldnt let them get close enoug because just earlier that my whole family had to get rabbis shots because this little kitten we were playing with ended up with them and we didnt want to get messed up with them. I love raccoons though the way they live is just so fasinateing. One of my favorite books is "Rascle" a story about a boy and his raccoon a true story too really good. I think it is great how you saved themand that you belived or belive that Bandit is still alive out there I would think the same thing if I was in you situtaion because I never give up hope and always wonder.

Its just like I always say
The ways of nature are the ways of life
Reviewed by Butch Howard
Your love for God's creatures reflects the goodness within your soul Ed. I used to work for a veterinarian and have helped raise quite a few of these orphaned creatures. Flying squirrels were my favorite because they would fly from one set of drapes to the other in our living room! Thanks for being there for those creatures who need a helping hand.
Reviewed by P-M Terry Lamar
What a great story of service to our animal friends.
You really are an animal lover.
Thanks for the motivation to keep loving all animals.
Reviewed by Jerry Engler
Brings back old memories, Ed. Our raccoon orphan, Rachel, had a good appetite for dry dog food plus whatever else she could supplement with, from pieces of fruit to tuna fish. She was adept at stealing chocolate candy if she could. She used to hang upside down from the rain gutter watching us in the kitchen...maybe I'd better write a coon story too...thanks, Jerry.
Reviewed by Alexandra* OneLight*® Authors & Creations
I was honoured to meet Rocky, Rockette, and Bandit, through their amazingly told - and above all, very lovingly told - saga, which I read for the first time in your book, and I became their instant fan (your fan, I already was, LOL!). What a marvelous story to share and to mark the beginning of the Wild Life week, dear Ed! May it be a prolific one, in the sense of bringing forth further and deeper consciousness, and, with it, a sensitive and responsible search of solutions, so that the welfare of wild fauna and flora do not have to be inompatible with progress... and vice-versa. Thank you for not giving up - and, everybody, do read Ed's book "Curious Creatures - Wondrous Waifs, My Life with Animals". It's a MUST, and it's a delight!
Love & {{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}} to you and yours,
Reviewed by Debby Rosenberg
its a good story...Up near Portland they are building underpasses for the wild life, attempting to reduce the number of road kill on the highways...most highways these days cross the natural migration paths to water sources animals need, I pray more states shall adopt this building policy
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes
Wonderful story Eddie!!

Love Tinky
Reviewed by Sharon Lawson
Aw! reminds me of my many pigeon and mouse rescues! It's shocking how creatures lifes are torn apart by man and his mechanical monsters. Tearing up land without a care. Those racoons have a lot to thank you for and probably know so :o)
Reviewed by Joyce Bowling
What a great story...I enjoyed this very much this morning. You've got a caring and giving heart my friend, it can be felt within the lines of all your work...always giving! Enjoyed!
Joyce Bowling
Reviewed by LadyJtalks LadyJzTalkZone (Reader)
Such a great story to read this morning. I enjoyed the tale. I could just picture the wicked neighbor calling all the neighbors warning them about your strange behavior. Well done here and there. Lady J
Reviewed by Georg Mateos
Man and racoons...what a battle of wits.(man loses 11 out of 10 times)
A charming story of love for all the creatures as the Big Man in the sky said we should do.
Congratulation! this one should be publish in all the nature, camping,
and trek magazines, everybody should have the opportunity to enjoy it.
Reviewed by m j hollingshead
loved it in the book, love it here. this last year I had 2 tiny orphans.... they had come often enough with mom to know where to come, so they moved into the tree, came down with the raccoon people each pm, but spent the day, draped upside down over a branch in the tree. Moistened cat food was their favorite for quite a while. they are still here. of course
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner

Compelling reading draws the reader in and takes them on your adventure and makes them say, AWWWWWWW! What a lovely, compassionate tale (tail?) you've penned. Well done!

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
Reviewed by Karen Vanderlaan
a grat morning read-uplifting thanks-
Reviewed by Susan Sonnen
I enjoyed this tremendously!
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
O, Ed, this is beautiful! What precious little babies; they are sooo cute!! AWWWW!! Very well done; would love to read your first book; it sounds like a winner! :) I loved the ones you sent to Karla and myself!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :D

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