National Geographic : 1956 Dec
850 Lynwood M. Chace Like the Domestic Cat, Mother Coon Carries Her Baby by the Nape of the Neck and parasites of domestic animals, including distemper, rabies, and worms. Some autumn night soon, they say, the hounds will come out beneath the hunter's moon and there will be few coon trails to follow. If that should happen, I think the coon will come back as it always has. And when the corn comes into milk, the females will still be bending green stalks so the youngsters can gorge themselves. Animals Fish with Sensitive Fingers But the raccoons will not be running to some creek or lake with each cob to wash it, as has been reported. This is a fable. They often dabble their food in water, but make no distinction between a mud puddle and a clear spring side by side (page 846). Lotor literally means "a washer." The Algonquin Indians of Virginia called the coon "arakun," from their word arakunem, mean ing "he who scratches with his hands." Better yet, they might have called him "the feeler." He is nearly as talented with his hands as the monkey. The raccoon's sense of touch is as superbly developed as his sense of smell. Fishing in a backwater, he moves along braced on his hind paws, looking at the night sky in a detached way while the fingers of his front paws sort the stones from the clams, the sticks from the crayfish, the empty snail shells from the occupied ones. Perhaps the water makes the raccoon's hands more sensitive. Perhaps he gets pleas ure from feeling for his food, somewhat as humans do from letting a tasty morsel linger on their tongues. But these are only guesses. Though raccoons are sensitive to sound and vibrations, they are not alarmed by noises having no direct bearing on their welfare. Where suburban traffic makes a race track out of West Bluemound Road in Milwaukee, raccoons wait for night in the trees by the side of the road. The sound of sirens, whis tles, and horns doesn't seem to bother them.