I remember one of the first times I was working at our local zoo. Frida, the lady in charge of the food station, handed me a plate with meat and told me to take it to the raccoon. "Don't put it outside. She has babies and stays in her hut most of the time, so put it in there." I was a newbie, and I figured if she gave me that task, it wouldn't be too difficult. Go in, put the plate in the hut, go back out.
Yeah, well, not. I can't say I had had any raccoon experience before that, and although I was well aware of animals protecting their young against potential enemies, I hadn't expected the kind of growling coming out of the hut when I approached it. This was some serious momma. So I kneeled in front of that hut, only seeing a pair of eyes glaring at me, and, I have to admit it, I was scared to death with the thought of putting my hand in there. I have no idea how long I stood there with that plate in my hand ... and I can't even remember if I finally managed to put it in there or if I asked someone else to do it.
Not one of my more laudable actions, I'm afraid.
I'm not the only one who has a strained relationship with raccoons (although I'm happy to say that we found to better terms once I was more experienced).
Seems Polish rabbis in the 19th century who were sent to the USA had the same problem - one moment he's holding a raccoon in his sleep (not knowing it), the next moment ...
Avram yelling: "Why me? My food, you're gonna take? You got the whole world, you're gonna take my food?"
(Gee, and I wish my raccoon would have taken "my" food! ;-))
P.S. Extra bonus of this movie is a young Harrison Ford starring along Gene Wilder ...