treed raccoonraccoon track in mud

The American wilderness symbolized by a whole range of animals native to our great continent, from the powerful image of the Grizzly Bear, to the sly antics of the Coyote. But in my mind, no creature so well characterizes the North American spirit as does as the Raccoon, Procyon lotor. Ranging all across the continental United States and Canada, even reaching down into parts of Mexico, the Raccoon (and its procyonid cousins the Coati and the Ringtail) hold a very special place in the collective body of Native American folklore and mythology. The Raccoon is the trickster, the sly and crafty one who may appear slow, but who is quick and agile; the opponent who outsmarts his enemies, and who uses his hands like a human. The Raccoon is the survivor, who lives alongside man as if to show him that he cannot truly conquer the land.

Above all, however, The Raccoon is intelligent and determined. It seems at times as if he can find his way into any closed container, or out of any cage. And he's cute, too. What more could you ask for from a species?

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