On our drive home from work the other night, the oddest thing happened. As we pulled to a stop light about half way to our house, just on the outskirts of downtown, so still very populated, I noticed a woman running across the road, against the light, being chased by what I thought was two small dogs. In the middle of the street the young woman stopped, turned around, stooped down to pick up the first little dog, then frantically kept running across the street. She seemed beside herself.
The whole altercation was strange. It was past dark and difficult to see all of what was going on. Meanwhile, our light had turned green, but by this time the young woman was screaming at the top of her lungs, “help me, help me.” About this time I noticed the second animal wasn’t a dog at all, but a very determined, large-ish raccoon. The raccoon had caught up to the woman and was pawing and biting at her legs. A man approached and started beating at the raccoon with his book bag and yelling for the woman to run. Meantime, another woman on the street had jumped into her car and was yelling for the young woman with dog to get in. The young woman was still screaming and crying at the top of her lungs while the man continued to whack at the raccoon with his bag. I have never seen such an aggressive and determined raccoon.
The young woman with dog ran over and jumped in the car and they sped away. The raccoon meantime had started waddling back whence he came (a park across the street) and the guy with the book bag was on his way again, in the opposite direction. We just sat there in our car, green light glaring at us, then headed for home.
So… not sure exactly what happened. The dog wasn’t small enough for the raccoon to carry him off, and the raccoon was really outnumbered by humans, but wasn’t willing to back off. Not sure what his motives were. He couldn’t have been that hungry… Portland is known for its homeless population, i.e., food available all over the place. Dumpsters chock full of goodies, and this raccoon was big. This was right in the city. Maybe the dog had taunted the raccoon, or maybe the owner had. Whatever the case, a 30 lb. raccoon was literally chasing a woman and her dog down the street. It’s one of those scratch your head kind of moments, for sure. Kinda wish I had thought about getting my camera out and video-ing it, but I was more concerned with needing to get out and help the cause.
I will say though, that in this sort of selfish, me me me world we are living in, these strangers on the street were ready to jump to action in defense of this human stranger. They didn’t look the other way, they didn’t walk on by. It could have been that they were propelled into action by the young woman’s blood curdling screams, “help me, HELP ME?” Who knows, but I’m happy to report on this incident, humans: 1, raccoon: 0.