Sunday, August 28, 2011

Nature or Nature?

We were recently in Montreal for my family reunion. Lots of laughs, wonderful old stories, great old family recipes. Lots of remembering those not there.

On the way home we decided to drive up Mont Royal. In case you've never been to Montreal, there is a mountain in the middle of the city. From the top, at the lookout, there are breathtaking views of the city itself, the St. Lawrence Seaway, Olympic Stadium, and even Old Montreal (if you squint).

We were doing our usual "oohs" and "aahs" and snapping photos when I was poked to look down at my feet. And there, less than a foot away from my sandal shod feet was a baby Raccoon. He (I'm guessing it was a he - I decided to name him Harry) sat there looking at me totally expecting lunch. Now I live in a city where Raccoons are only thought of as those annoying critters that destroy your garbage cans and toss your recycle across the neighborhood. I chose not to feed him. When he figured out there was no free lunch he waddled off. I went back to taking photos of the city, though it suddenly didn't hold the same thrill.

Cars continued to arrive and their occupants all seemed to head to the ice cream truck. Being nosy, and a bit of an ice cream addict, I wandered over there - figuring it must be the best ice cream in the world based on the crowd.

Well, it wasn't the ice cream drawing the crowd, it was Harry and his two brothers or sisters and his Momma. They were coming right up to the crowd, mooching lunch. The all-knowing ice cream dude said they come out every day at the same time and will eat out of your hand. Mama was the head mooch. She gets up on her back legs, reaches out her paws and takes a granola bar from one person. The kids got her leftovers. Someone ran and got a banana and Harry took big pieces of that. The crowd just kept building and the Raccoons continued to eat.

Oh, and did I mention the sign?

Here we were in this gorgeous spot, with lots of people around us, and 85% of them were looking down. Struck me as so strange. No one was looking a the city or the Seaway or the flowers. I felt bad for a busload of tourists who had driven to the bus parking spot and never saw the live entertainment. They had to settle for the amazing view. We had entertainment.

So the question is - gorgeous rocks and water views and natural nature - or a family of Raccoons mooching for food, furry nature?

Furry won for us....


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