The Pearson family goes out for supper at their neighbor’s house.

“Elsie, I don’t remember the last time we ate this well. Okay, maybe that was last night right here,” laughed Jim Bob Pearson. He stood on his hind legs with his mouth open waiting for another handout by the human at the back door of their favorite house. Jim Bob’s six babies stayed close to their mother, eating bread and crackers. Jim grabbed three crackers in his mouth and dipped them in the water dish before eating.

“Jim Bob, we are very lucky to have such generous neighbors. It was after all their idea to feed us personally. Did you hear how the man of this house started yelling because we were making too much noise scrounging in his metal garbage cans?”

“I sure do, Elsie. It’s a good thing the man had a soft spot for animals. And we get to come here every night for supper, too. How many other raccoon families can brag about that?”

“Not too many, Jim Bob. Our children are well fed, too.” Elsie smiled in the direction of her babies who were busy eating.

“They are indeed, Elsie.” Jim Bob surveyed each one of his babies: Billie Sue, Jerry Bob, Tammy Faye, Jeff Bob, Tammy Sue, and Jasper. “Dear, my cousin Jethro says he is coming to visit us this weekend. Maybe we should invite him to come here for supper?”

“Good idea, Jim Bob. Jethro is a big boy with a hearty appetite. I think he’ll like it here.” Elsie stopped for a moment and stood on her hind legs. “Look up at the side window, Jim Bob. A cat is sitting there.”

Jim Bob looked into the window.

“Hey, it’s Molly. She’s a good cat. She never gives us trouble, just watches us quietly from a distance,” Jim Bob responded.

Jasper spoke up. “Mom, I’m still hungry.” He sniffed around on the ground for more tasty morsels.

“You know what to do, dear. Gently knock on the door for some more food.” Elsie watched proudly as young Jasper stood up and knocked on the door. The actual door opened and little Jasper stuck his head in, hoping a human hand would would slip some food into his mouth. Before he knew it, the door almost closed on his tiny head.

“Oww!” yelled Jasper. “I almost lost my head.” He shook his head and continued eating some more bread.

“Oh I’m sure the human didn’t mean to do it to you, Jasper. Don’t forget, they don’t allow raccoons into their home,” Elsie explained.

“That’s right, Jasper, we’re wild animals, and not supposed to mingle with humans or their pets. One day you will understand,” Jim Bob smiled at his youngest child.

“I’ll be all right Mom and Dad. Hey that female human is cute, isn’t she.” Jasper’s mind was already on girls despite his young age of 3 months.

“She is a looker,” Jim Bob agreed with his son. “I can imagine what she’d look like if she was a raccoon.”

“Jim Bob Pearson!” Elsie commented. She didn’t like her husband thinking about other females, especially ones who personally fed them. Jim Bob just blushed and turned his head away, pretending to drink water from the water dish.

“This has been a most enjoyable meal. Children, don’t forget to thank the nice human who fed us.” Elsie made sure her children were raised with good manners. Billie Sue chattered her thank you to the human, as did the rest of the kids. Jasper chattered something else besides a thank you, which the human heard but could not understand. “Come on Jasper, you know it’s no use asking if you can eat inside next time. I’m sure the family doesn’t have an endless supply of food in their kitchen for us.” Elsie cuddled Jasper.

“I’d like to help them with their grocery shopping,” replied Jim Bob. “But now, we must go home.” He promptly chattered his thank yous to the girl at the door. They also waved goodbye to Molly, the cat in the window. The Pearsons walked down the cement steps and into the woods for a deep sleep that night, knowing they were fortunate to have a caring neighbor to feed them well.

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