FIFTEEN - Peterson

559 72 46

 December 26th - Boxing Day

It's still snowing. Yesterday, there was more than a foot on the ground, and Dad and I got stuck coming home from the Irving's right near the gas station. We had to get out and shovel our way out.

Today, there's about another three inches. I don't think I've ever seen this much snow in one place. I got up and put another log in the wood stove, and then I went back to bed to read my law of attraction book. I knew Dad wouldn't be getting up for a while, and there was no way we were driving anywhere today. Staying in bed seemed like a good option.

Before I started reading, I got my laptop and Googled about spirit animals. Raccoons mostly, because of the book Dad gave me and the tracks that were in the snow right afterwards. I learned that if raccoons keep appearing in your life, it is a symbol of adaptability, flexibility, exploring and adventure. It can also mean that its presence in your life may be helping you to transform into something or someone new. What? A new Myles? Sure. I'm all over that. The old Myles is/was a nobody, so bring it on, I say.

                                        Still Boxing Day...2 p.m.

Are you ready for this? Stuff is getting weirder. About an hour ago when Dad I were eating our festive nachos (one day late, but who's counting), there was a knock at the cabin door and when I went to open it there was Misty's dad, Norm, standing on the porch in his long underwear, wearing a red sweatshirt with a coffee stain on the front. But that's not the weird thing. The weird thing was that he was holding the stuffed raccoon—the one Lincoln told me about. The one I thought was a fake. But there it was, larger than life...well, actually it was average-sized, but you get my point. Anyway, Lincoln wasn't kidding. The raccoon was standing up with its paw held up high, and I could absolutely imagine someone putting their car keys on his little foot every evening when they arrived home from wherever they'd been that day.

"Merry Christmas!" Norm said, and then he pushed the stuffed raccoon into my hands. "This is for you."

The raccoon smells a bit like an old tent, and his eyes look like dollar store marbles, but even so, it is pretty frikkin' cool.

"Why are you giving me this?" I asked.

"Well," Norm said with a big smile. "You're from the city, and I bet you're the kind of kid who has pretty much everything you need, so I said to myself, I bet that Myles fellow hasn't got a stuffed raccoon. And Misty agreed. And I've had this old bastard in my house since 1978, so I figure it's time to pass it on to someone who will appreciate him."

"Thank you," I said. I'm not sure if receiving a decades-old, medium-sized stuffed mammal warranted a more enthusiastic response, but if it did, Norm didn't let on. He clapped me on the back and said, "Take good care of him, Myles. May he bring you the best of luck."

My dad is fascinated with the raccoon, and we spent a good half an hour deciding where to display him. In the end, I said I would like to have him in the corner of my room, because, if he is representative of my spirit animal, he should probably reside near me. Out of, you know, respect. Dad agreed.

So, I put the raccoon in my room and stared at him for a good long time. I decided that calling him, "The Racoon," is not a good way to honour him, so I have named him Peterson, after my old dentist, who was super cool and had a shaved head and a tattoo of a narwhal on his neck.

So that sums up Boxing Day. A lot of snow, and a stuffed raccoon. Not complaining. Not even a little.

THE PECULIAR LANGUAGE OF LLAMASWhere stories live. Discover now