Do y'all remember Ranger Rick? It was a nature magazine for kids, with a raccoon mascot. I was always so excited to get that magazine in our mailbox.
Have I mentioned that my husband always wanted a raccoon cap?
And did I also mention that he wanted to make it himself so that the little paws and head would still be attached to the hat? He did NOT kill this animal---it was roadkill. (I know.) He came home one day while I was cooking dinner and said, "I can't be delayed....I have to hurry up and go get this raccoon that was just run over." He left while I was still chopping tomatoes thinking, "What???"
He put the poor wee beastie in a few garbage bags and it has been living in my freezer for 3 months. Yes, my freezer. That we put people food in. I forgot about it at one point and was looking for some steak I had frozen and opened the bag and got a nasty surprise. Did I mention that's my favorite knife in the above photo? I was none too pleased about that.
Adam had never skinned anything before, so he looked up directions on the internet. There were all sorts of weird directions on home taxidermy from 'spray out the flesh in a heavy powered car wash' to 'rub the animal's brain over the skinned hide'. I'm not even going to tell you what he ended up doing. All I can say is that at one point, he was pulling off its sad furry skin over its own arms and head like he was taking its t-shirt off.
I'm not sure how he even managed to preserve its teeth. Shouldn't those have stayed in the skull?
Now we wait for it to 'tan', I guess. It smells funny.
Adam keeps saying, "If I can find three more raccoons, I could make a pair of gloves where each finger has a complete hand on it!"
So now I am always pointing in the opposite direction saying, "Oh look, honey, there's a hawk with a snake in its mouth." on the lookout for freshly run-over raccoons.