There is a big fat raccoon living under my back porch in a state of semi-consciousness.
His name is Toaster Strudel.
He is so named not because he has wavy, white lines running down his back like that oh-so tasty icing people plaster on those flat, little post-card sized cakes.
It's because he had his head stuck in a Toaster Strudel box the first time we met.
Funny thing is I thought that'd be the last I'd see of old Toaster Strudel. Remove the food source, remove the animal, our knowledgeable wildlife folks like to say.
Well, not this time.
Like a long lost relative that overate on holiday sugar cookies and overstayed his welcome, ol' Toaster Strudel just decided to stay.
I know this because just after our last significant snowfall, I could see Toaster's tracks under the moon's glow in the freshly-fallen porch powder.
There they were - plain as the black mask on the little bandit's furry face.
Second funny thing was the fact his padded little prints disappeared under said aforementioned back porch not to be seen again.
"That can't be," I thought to myself as I pulled my expensive, little headlamp into position over my ball cap.
Expensive, you question? How about $47.50 of my hard-earned cha-ching for a tiny single-bulb light barely bright enough to illuminate the end of my nose?
"You bought it, ya schmuck," I mumbled as I clicked the button atop the headlamp to "on" and headed for the back door.
Moments later, I squeezed my post-holiday-sugar-cookie-frame under the porch timbers and belly-crawled to the basement breezeway.
"Nothing there," I thought, scanning one dark corner with the dull beam of light from my miner's luminary. Crawling further ahead, I swung my gaze to the other corner... and Toaster came into full view, just inches away.