I was mowing today and when I got around the pavilion I noticed a furry ball curled up right smack in the center of the concrete floor. At first I couldn't tell if it was a cat or a raccoon. Eventually the old masked marauder lifted his head and wobbled a few steps... before falling in another exhausted heap. He did this for awhile - gingerly taking a few steps, collapse; wander a little further, and collapse again; over and over. It was sad to watch even a raccoon in his dying moments.
I didn't know if this was nature taking its course, if he was rabid, or both, but I decided to mow on the other side of the building nonetheless and let him be. He finally made it out into the field. But later I noticed that he was back in the church yard, and he seemed to be ever-so-slowly meandering in my direction. I swung around him and finished up mowing the pavilion area, put the mower away, but when I headed back to the office... he had plopped himself down right in front of the church door. His chin gently resting on his hands - one on top of the other.
I don't know why I feel so bad for a raccoon. He looked really lonely. It makes you wonder if he didn't see a little church and hope beyond hope that he'd find some kind of solace there. His last desperate attempt at salvation possibly; and if all else fails, hoping someone will at least find him on their way, and offer as much as a prayer.
I'm not really into praying for animals. But what can it hurt.
I've been listening to Dylan while writing this.