Albion Recorder & Morning Star Columns

Looking Out: Cream Puff

  “Cream Puff is back!” I holler to my beloved wife Marsha.

She walks quickly into the kitchen to stand next to me to look out the window at the bird feeder. There, underneath, is a very large and fluffy raccoon, nibbling at the fallen sunflower seeds from the grass.

When she first showed up two weeks ago, we named the huge critter “Fat Boy”, but after I did a little reading I decided Fat Boy is probably a pregnant female, so I renamed her.

Whether my gender-reveal proves accurate or not will soon be known, I suppose. In the meantime, we enjoy Cream Puff’s multiple daily visits to our yard.

It’s fun to see how the gray squirrels, fox squirrels, ground squirrels, red squirrels, rabbits, woodchucks and deer, along with a couple dozen varieties of birds ignore each other as they eat.

It’s only when a hawk or eagle visits the neighborhood that the area clears out.

Even when I’m out filling the feeder, some of the more intrepid critters stick to their seed-eating routines, sometimes within a foot or two of me.

Marsha and I stand at the window watching Cream Puff, when all of a sudden another raccoon appears from between the nearby bushes. Cream Puff is a very dark raccoon and the interloper is a lighter color, and thinner.

The two critters stand face to face, glaring at each other. The new one feints in Cream Puff’s direction and she turns tail and scrambles to the meadow beyond the corner of our yard.

“Not fair! Cream Puff was here first!” exclaims Marsha.

The new raccoon explores the grass around the base of the feeder, checking things out.

“I wonder if that’s the one that’s been climbing the pole at night and eating straight out of the feeder,” says Marsha.

“Could be.  Cream Puff is way too heavy to do that, but this is the first we’ve seen Bismark,” I say.


“Yes. That’s his name. Bismark.”

There’s a big solar flare in the news with promise of an aurora, so well after sunset, we step out onto our deck to see the Northern Lights. No such luck. Nothing.

I wake up in the morning and Marsha tells me she woke up at 4:00 and stepped outside to look at the northern sky.

“No aurora,” she says. “But Bismark was up on top of the feeder eating the oriole’s grape jelly. I hollered at him and he took off.

“I wonder if Bismark is the father of Cream Puff’s coming litter,” I say.

“She has better taste than to hang out with such a rude raccoon,” says Marsha with a disdainful sniff.

“I think we may be guilty of anthropomorphizing these critters,” I say. “Playing matchmaker to raccoons?”

“Cream Puff is special,” says Marsha.

“That she is,” I agree. “A kind and gentle raccoon of refined and sophisticated habits.”

“Maybe we should put a sign out by the feeder. ‘No raccoons allowed, except Cream Puff.’”

“I didn’t realize they are able to read,” I say.

“Just Cream Puff,” says Marsha. “We’d have to make a sign in Ikea-speak for Bismark. All pictures, no words.”


‘The feeder is almost empty,” she says. “You’d better go fill it.”

“For the birds?”

“Sure,” says Marsha. “For the birds. And Cream Puff.”

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