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.
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!