In search of story

November 16.21: Coping


I’d like to introduce you

to Basil P. Raccoon,

my resident philosopher,

inscrutable as rune.

Stoic and implacable,

frugal in his speech,

he’s ever thinking thoughts

beyond my humble reach.

The tilting of his head

seems question never ending,

whose answer seems to need

continual amending.

He isn’t one for talking;

I think that’s in his plan:

words cannot always teach

what quiet watching can.



To be exact, dear reader, this is Basil St. John Philip Raccoon, a gift from old friends Bill and Donna, and named after Philip St. John Basil Rathbone, but I couldn’t tell you why.

Basil Rathbone was a voice from my childhood, most especially in an oft-played recording (think 78 RPM) of Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf.” Later, I read “The Complete Sherlock Holmes” to tatters, and I think I always pictured Holmes as Rathbone’s character. There must be something in the raccoon’s aspect that called that to mind. The brain is weird — well, at least mine is.

As you can see from this daytime photo, November’s dark side is upon us and it’s time for candles in the windows. Basil approves. He is always looking for light in the dark.


9 thoughts on “November 16.21: Coping

  1. Along with being introduced to your bud, Basil, the memory of the 78 RPM certainly took me back and brought a smile. I have a small brown rabbit that sits and listens sometimes. 🙂 Yes, to the candles in the window for light. I got out more lights yesterday afternoon. Good thing I bought plenty of AA batteries to get me through the next six weeks. 🙂 Happy Tuesday, Maureen.

    • And a happy Tuesday to you too, Judy! As for those 78s, I had to add that in because it occurred to me that “recording” doesn’t mean the same thing to all people, especially a recording from the Stone Age. For sure my grandkids wouldn’t understand the concept of turning the record over any more than they get the whole idea of walking across the living room to change the channel. As for the lights, oh, yes! It isn’t the calendar that decides for us; it’s the darkness. And I love it that you have a rabbit that listens — I think that would be the kind of rabbit I could like!

  2. I love the tribute to Basil, and Basil and Sherlock. We can’t put candles in the windows. Anything we put in the windows, one of the cats puts on the floor. We have heard that one of Basil’s still active relatives is roaming our neighborhood. We haven’t seen him/her but we’ve seen evidence…another point in favor of your Basil.

    I hope you’re having a good week.

    • I can definitely see the problem with putting candles in your windows; I’m sure the cats think that the only thing that belongs in a window is a cat. I don’t doubt that they re-decorate without consulting anyone else. Indeed, the best raccoons are the carved ones, just as the best rabbits are the ones on napkins and in books. I hope your week is good too!

  3. I’m glad you explained the Basil P part as I was wondering. I hope his thinking is fruitful, even if we can only guess at it. It seems that as we lose an hour from the end of the day, we lose the intensity of light generally throughout the day too. Dark nights are fair enough but dark afternoons…

    • Yes, the dark afternoons can be unfair, especially so in this extended time of isolation and uncertainty. It’s a different kind of dark now.

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