I Became a
Member of the Clan
by Raccoon Kate
long ago, and far, far away in
a magical wood, lived the mighty
Clan of Coon.
Clan of Coon, counting only the
women and children, stood more
than a hundred strong. No one
knew the entire strength of the
Clan, but all the domain knew
that their men kept close watch
on their families and defended
was a blessed country, filled
with forests, lakes and streams
for hunting and fishing. The
frogs and skinks were plentiful,
as were the delicious rodents
and tender shoots. It was a true
nothing lasts forever, and one
day Evil entered the lands of
the Clan. Huge, noisy yellow
animals of metal came and felled
the trees, dug up the earth,
and hurled the great boulders
of Mother Earth into boxes which
rode upon the backs of other
dusty and dirty metal animals.
lay across the land, only to
be followed by a terrible invasion
of pink and brown and yellow
animals who built their enormous
dens throughout the Clan's favorite
the Great Mother of the Clan
was a coon of many years and
enormous wisdom. She admonished
her kin gently. "Let us learn
about these new animals. Perhaps
we can benefit from their presence.
They also come from Mother Earth."
Great Mother sent out scouts
upon the land, and behold! they
returned with wonderful news.
These new animals had left offerings
to the Clan of Coon. In fact,
they had even created a ritual
for it. Twice in the space of
every seven suns, the tall ones
would carry large containers
filled with delectable foods
to the end of the hard paths
leading to their dens.
in approval, the Great Mother
bade her Clan enjoy the offerings
of the mysterious new creatures.
so, on the Night of the Trash,
the coons accepted the bounty
that was their due. They climbed
the barrels and drums, pulled
the coverings asunder with their
clever hands, and delved into
all the aromatic and flavorful
offerings. They chose one thing
and then another, tossing some
to their children and some to
their friends, all eating with
Clan of Coon prospered and multiplied.
Their only sorrow was caused
by the vicious animals with snapping
jaws and savage fangs that seemed
to like living with the pink
and brown and yellow animals.
The Vicious Ones killed several
of the Clan's members and the
Great Mother warned all to beware.
Great Mother's scouts, ever vigilant,
returned one day with more news.
There was a bounteous feast laying
in wait at one of the gigantic
clan members chirruped amongst
themselves. Who would be the
brave one to first partake of
the banquet that might be
a trap? Would the feast be as
tasty as the offerings they received
on the Night of the Trash?
the Great Mother and the scouts
knew the answer. They had lurked
and watched, tasted and drunk.
It was a feast fit for the Clan!
All were encouraged to partake.
Mother Coon bravely settled her
children in a tree near the den
providing the food. She cautiously
made her way up the steps of
a wooden platform with thin,
straight twigs poking up and
saw before her tray upon tray
of food and many bowls of water.
She went to each, gingerly sampling
the food and sipping the water.
It was delicious!
Coon chirruped to her children
to join her and guided them up
to the banquet. Thereafter, all
the Clan of Coon dined at the
feast with exceeding pleasure.
moons passed, indeed many turnings
of the years went by. The banquet
never failed. Night after night,
the food appeared and the coons
were left in peace to enjoy their
good fortune. The pink animals
in the great den made themselves
known, and the children of the
Clan learned how to take the
delicacies that the fingers of
the pink ones offered. All was
done under the watchful eyes
of their mothers, of course.
night, when the stars were bright
and the smell of honeysuckle
filled the air, a family of the
Clan arrived for a meal. Mother
Coon and her children settled
in at their favorite tray and
dove into the succulent kibbles
and bits, washing the pieces
carefully, turning them in their
hands as they inspected them
for twigs and pebbles and other
son of the family, who the pink
ones called 'Buddy', was licking
a particularly scrumptious treat
from Pink Thing's fingers, when
suddenly there came a great thrashing
of branches and the pounding
of large paws on the earth. Growls
and howls and barks came from
the darkness and all the coons
bristled with fear.
Coon ran to the edge of the platform
and looked through the upright
twigs. Her children followed
her closely, afraid to be left
was the worst of horrors! A Vicious
One! Ready to wreak havoc with
the small family.
Buddy scurried up the strange
metal spider web in front of
him, quaking in terror. From
his vantage point he could see
the slavering jaws of the Vicious
One, the sharp fangs and lolling
tongue glistening in the starlight.
watched as his mother and sisters
attempted escape, only to find
that the Vicious One would assuredly
catch them before they attained
the safety of the trees. Mother
Coon regrouped her quailing children
and considered what to do.
last Mother Coon chirruped her
instructions to the children.
Buddy was told firmly to come
down from the metal web and join
the rest of the family. Nudging
and prodding, Mother Coon bullied
her children into climbing the
twigs. They would be safer up
on the wooden beam and could,
perhaps, jump out into the darkness
and race to the trees before
the Vicious One could react.
youngsters were panicky, but
remembered their tree-climbing
lessons and began to ascend the
twigs. One of the littlest lost
her footing and came tumbling
down. She lay there quivering
on the platform until her mother
chirruped again and pushed her
back to the twigs. The little
one made several more attempts
and finally, after losing her
way once or twice, righted herself
and climbed all the way to the
Coon turned toward the steps
and braced herself for the attack
that she knew was to come. Her
teeth were bared and the fur
stood up all over her body, making
her appear to be twice as big.
She chittered and growled and
hissed at the massive shape at
the foot of the stairs.
Pink Thing rushed out of her
den wielding a long pole with
thick straw thatch at the end.
Pink Thing made loud shrieking
noises and ran down the steps,
jabbing the pole at the Vicious
One. Finally she began swinging
the pole like a bat, driving
the lumbering beast back into
the darkness. What sounded like
a thwack on the rump echoed
from the border of the woods
and Mother Coon soon heard the
sound of thundering paws receding
into the distance.
Thing had saved them all. Mother
Coon and her children bowed in
sincere thanks to Pink Thing
and returned to their home.
tale of the Pink Thing spread
far and wide across the Clan
of Coon. The Great Mother herself
visited Pink Thing in her den
and observed her carefully.
is indeed a protector of the
Clan and worthy of our trust," she
announced to the Coon Community. "She
has agreed to sit with our children
while the adults go and do...
adult things. Pink Thing is now
an honorary member of our Clan."
from that day forward, the human,
Pink Thing, was accepted as one
Photographs © Cressida