For our prompt of “Raccoon” today, I opted for a little one with an apple. Recently, I sketched our dog Phineas and his friends, which included a raccoon named Bob. We imagine that our dog has lots of animal friends like this, because he doesn’t really seem to enjoy other dogs. We’ve built an imagined cast of friends that includes a squirrel, cat, and raccoon. Though the actual friendships are up for question, the animals actually do exist. Bob the raccoon’s primary claim to fame was the unfortunate habit of pooping on our back balcony. A terribly odd and unpleasant form of house warming. This is not how one should behave, of course, so I imagined Bob a bit sorry for all of the trouble he caused and giving us a much nicer offering in the form of an apple. Recently, I heard the familiar clump on our roof that was usually Bob scurrying across to frantically get to our balcony to do his business. When I got up and looked, however, there was nothing to be found. Perhaps he’s learned better manners. In truth, raccoons only live about 2-3 years in the wild, so I’m not sure if Bob is even still with us. But, it’s nice to imagine him still visiting us with his far improved social skills.

I think raccoons are very cute, though with their little dark masks and habit of stealing food they do seem a bit like nature’s bandits. Actually Bandit was the name given to the “The World’s Fattest Raccoon” according to the The Guinness Book of World Records. Apparently, this was because of a thyroid problem and not because he took too much food. His story began in a rather interesting fashion in that he was originally adopted by a dog and raised as one of its puppies. He was later adopted by a woman in Pennsylvania and lived to be 10 years old. I’m not sure if he ever really knew he was too large and lived a rather wonderful life in spite of his incurable health problems. And what’s rather intriguing is that he also most likely thought he was a dog, as that’s the only family he’d ever known. This just makes me love Bandit all the more. These bits of trivia always intrigue me. There’s so much that’s usual in this world, so the bits that are unusual become endlessly fascinating to me.

Whether bits of fun facts or bits of fun fiction, it’s a joy to imagine the odder bits this world has to offer. It keeps life interesting. That’s why Philippe and I imagine a far more involved life for our little Phineas. He’s quite smart and has a very unique personality so it doesn’t take much to fill in the gaps and create a full narrative universe. Well, at least that’s what happens when two creative people let their minds wander. I think that’s my favorite part of making things. I’m never sure what will come out and it’s fun to fill in the gaps as I write something to go with the sketch I just made. I think that if I carefully planned each of these posts, I would have quit soon after I first started. There’s something a bit magical when an internal dialogue starts to speak out loud. Sure, it also means that things don’t always work out as expected sometimes. but that’s the way I like it most! It’s why I love watercolor, the most unexpected of all painting mediums, and why I enjoy doodling. I’ve no idea what tomorrow will bring, but today it was all about Bob. Wherever he is right now, I have to admit that I do have a rather fond feeling for that furry little bandit.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Gold Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Terra Cotta and Ultramarine (Green Shade). Staedtler Pigment Liners in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Raccoon Standing With Apple Watercolor Painting Sketchbook Detail

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33 thoughts on “Furry Little Bandit

  1. Your raccoon is so cute! Have you ever seen the video of the pet raccoon that was returned to the wild successfully, but came visiting while the family was on vacation? He went through all their cupboards and tore through the walls and generally destroyed portions of the house. They said they stil loved him, but were going to try and move him further away.

    1. Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 I haven’t seen that video! Oh wow… yeah, that would be quite something to come home to. I wonder if the raccoon was just a bit pissed off though. It was his home at one time after all. Maybe he didn’t want to leave it. I picture him saying, “you want wild? I’ll show you wild!” lol

  2. Your spontaneous writing is always interesting to read! Bob is adorable, like his West coast cousins who periodically dig up my yard. It’s hard to be mad at them, and it’s always a treat to see them roaming around.

  3. Stupid raccoons come on our deck to eat cat food, and often leave a “calling card.”. Makes me crazy ! If they weren’t so darn cute, I’d make Joe trap them all and move them to the other side of the river!

  4. Raccoons are cute indeed. But they are not indigenous where I live – in Belgium. “They were introduced to Europe as exotic pets and have exploded in population since the 1970s. Now considered an invasive species, the raccoon threatens to sweep the continent with infectious and parasitic diseases like rabies, researchers warn.”
    Rabies was as good as eliminated over here. Sigh, we can forget about that. And as for the raccoon… it has come here and probably it stays… So maybe I’ll get the chance to see one over here too 🙂

  5. I am back with a mind full of imaginary things! I love your Bob. Your coloring of him is spot on. Thanks for sharing that story about Bandit. I think you should create a book about Phineas. Oh if you want a good imaginary read, read “Forky’s Craft Buddies Day”. I purchased it for the wonderful childlike illustrations, but when I read it, I fell in love with it. Funny with a warm ending. 😉

  6. Aww!!! I got excited just seeing the title, because I knew what it was going to be. Indeed, I keep trying to comment but end up scrolling back to see him again. Bob the Bandit is adorable! <3

  7. Adorable little critter you have painted. More than a doodle for the personality you injected into him made him real! When I was a kid, maybe 8 or so, my father brought home a baby raccoon which my brother and I took care of. Unfortunately (we thought) we had to return him to his natural home in the woods as he became a bit vicious! I have no idea how he faired. At least we loved him while we had him. Once more your story stirred up a happy memory for me. Thanks for sharing, Charlie!

  8. What a precious raccoon. His expression catches my heart and holds it. Just for the record,
    he can poop on my porch anytime he chooses. A relative of his (we named her Bandito) gave birth to twins in the community dumpster. It took a concentrated effort to rescue the little family before the garbage truck arrived 2 days later. Happily Bandito and her babies remained in the area for a couple of years. They no longer return, but we, too, hope and imagine that the family is still out there, multiplying joyfully.

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