I never meant for it to happen.
All I wanted was to spend a nice, quiet camping weekend with my sisters in the beautiful Whitaker Forest in East Texas.
The majestic pine trees, fresh water streams and ample flora and fauna promised a lovely, tranquil three days of bliss–away from the hustle and bustle and hassles of men. Here’s a photo of my sisters and me a few minutes before we embarked on our camping trip. I know we’re not in typical camping gear, but we Kendrick women are a rather formal lot.
That’s me on your far left. I’m clutching the arm of my middle sister, Karol and our oldest sister Kathy, is my bookend, so to speak.
We found a clearing in a lovely part of the Whitaker Forest, Karol and I made camp as Kathy–the true chef of the bunch, started making an early dinner.
Kathy is a true culinary artist: we supped on a delightful salad niciose, followed by the most scrumptious poached salmon with a rich and slightly piquant dill sauce. Green beans Almondine rounded out the second course and that was followed by a cherry flambe fit for a despot!
I was full and content, so I decided to fend off the caloric onslaught of the gastronomic feat I had just consumed by taking a constitutional around the forest. It was getting dark and I didn’t want to walk far.
I happened on a lovely babbling brook and decided to stop for a brief respite. The sounds made by the brook were hypnotic, so I laid down and was soon lulled into slumber.
I was awakened by the feeling of a slight weight on top of me. Four little paws walking all over me. I opened my eyes and screamed. It was a raccoon attempting to have carnal knowledge of me!!! I tried to shoo him away but he was too forceful. He said to me in that half raccoon shrill/half human command, “Shut up. I love you and must have you for my own. My name is Key and I’m a MoonCoon. I’m human by day and a full-on garbage rummaging, attic dwelling, horny, litter siring raccoon at night”.
I looked into his eyes. They were black– typical of a raccoon of course, but I also saw raw human emotion in them.
“I need a semi- beautiful, almost natural blond with a pulse, to bear my half human/half raccoon offspring”.
“Why me?”, I asked.
He looked at me with coon incredulity and asked, “Are you serious? Geez woman, look around you! We’re in the middle of East Asshole and there’s no one around for miles. And if I don’t procreate tonight when the moon is full, I’ll never be able to. It has to be tonight.”
I laid there for a moment thinking. I was getting older and my love life was in shambles and maybe having a half coon/half human child would do something to reignite my lackluster broadcast career.
“OK, I’ll play baby factory”.
But he insisted, “No, I’m old fashioned. We need to go out on a date first. I’ll take you to dinner. He ran over to a clump of bushes…there was a rustling sound and then he scurried to the brook clutching something. A field mouse was in his right paw and in true raccoon form, he began washing it. He brought it to me.
“Oh, that does look delicious” I said. “But I just had dinner”.
“Suit yourself. Now, let’s get it on”. He threw the mouse over his shoulder, then threw himself on top of me.
It was the best 4.8 seconds of my life.
We were both smoking a post coital cigarette when I asked, “Now what? Will I ever see you again”.
“Maybe. Who knows how the wheel of fortune spins. If our paths cross, fine…so be it. In a few years I’ll be able to make a choice to spend my life as more human than raccoon. When that happens, I want to move to Colorado, sell heavy equipment and write in a blog. But we’ll always have this moment. I have to go. There’s a campsite a mile from here where the Coreys, Haim and Feldman spent a week and the place is filthy and God knows what illicit drugs we’ll find there. Time to party!!!! So, you take care and be a good mom to our childcoon”.
And with that, he scampered off.
I went back to camp and said nothing about my encoonter with Key. Two days later, we left. And as we drove out of the lush Whitaker Forest, I wondered if I’d ever see this little critter ever again.
Long story short—I left my wallet at the campsite. Key says he went there looking for garbage, but I think he went there on the off chance he’d see me. Instead, he found a pristine campsite and the wallet I dropped. Inside was my driver’s license.
I realized I was pregnant right off the bat. Morning sickness, craving nuts and berries and this insatiable urge to sleep in the attic.
The pregnancy had some stressful moments. It was as if Key sensed that. He hitched a ride on the back of a Houston bound logging truck.
Gestation for a half human/half raccoon fetus is a mere six months. When I reached five and a half months, I needed bed rest and my vet had me admitted it to the Sherry Lewis Memorial Animal Hospital. I was in the Rudd Weatherwax Neo-Natal Ward.
Somehow, KeyCoon found me and visited me in the hospital every day. Here’s a picture of me…looking very ripe with fetus.
As you can see, I started developing some raccoon features. As my vet, Dr. Didlittle explained, it was something about the raccoon DNA of my child and my hormones. Being pregnant with a half child is tough on full human women. For some reason, we become quite homely while enciente.
I hardly recognized myself in this photo—my hair turned darker and kind of feathery around my forehead, my chins are prominent–one is rather pointed, I grew sideburns and my face was wide enough to show an IMAX film on one of my cheeks. But with four ears, I could hear a pin drop—-IN KANSAS!!!
Key assured me I was still semi-beautiful.
My water broke at 3:00 the following morning. Six hours later, I gave birth to a lovely half raccoon/half human daughter. Key was delighted. We named her Bagel.
Because Key and I were big fans of that all-important first meal of the day and his sister already named her daughter “English Muffin” and my other name choice, “Toast and Assorted Breakfast Breads” just seemed too long.
The Family Coondrick, as I called us, went home the next day and Key was, for a while there, a very devoted father. Here he is as a human, doting on Bagel. By the way, infant half kids always appear far more raccoon in the first few months of their lives.
Life was good. We were happy. That’s evident in these family photos.
The one below was taken just as I had walked in the door from my Kabuki Theater class (that would explain the whitish color of my face). Key is returning to coon status as you can see by the top part of his head and three ears:
Little Bagel had just learned to stand up. She loved her hat and toy fiddle. Yes, we were happy.
“Were” being the operative word.
Here’s the last family photo ever taken. It’s my favorite.
Bagel is finally showing more human traits. Cute, huh?
Then, things started to change…namely Key was changing. We started talking less, fighting more. He’d go out at night and come home hours later with garbage on his breath. He started losing weight, changing the style and color of his hair and wearing sexy clothes and underwear.
And I knew we were in trouble when he started wearing an astrological medallion and several gold chains. There was no doubt about it…Key was cheating on me with other women. He was probably seeing other raccoons, too. The thought galled me. Of course, I imagined hot little ring-tailed forest sluts with six-to-eight teats.
How could I compete with that???
Here he is, Mr. Swinger Raccoon, sitting on the diving board of our swimming pool.
He’s washing our dinner.
This is the last photo I took of my Key. He left two days later. A note on the kitchen table indicated he no longer wanted to be “tied down”. He wanted a pursuit a new life, but he wasn’t going back to Whitaker Forest. He wanted to see what destiny had in store for him at the nearby Gump Forest.
I hadn’t seen or heard from him in years. I went on to become a writer. Bagel grew up to be a smart and vivacious young woman coon. She followed in her mother’s journalistic footsteps and his now the Editrix-In-Chief of the widely popular blog, RationReality.com
I found Key again. A few weeks ago, on his blog–just as he said. It’s called The Keywork. He’s very talented, as coons go. We’ve exchanged a few e-mails, but the magic is gone. Plus, he has another life and assures me he’s happy.
I hope he is.
I know I am.
In fact, I have to go now. I must get ready for a date. My neighbor’s Black Lab will be here any minute.