This morning I found a raccoon, huddled in the corner of the compost loo.
It was 5am and the birds were at their best, the air was fresh and warm and everything felt more alive than ever.
I thought it was a badger. I have never seen either in the flesh and have not considered that anything badger-like other than a badger lives this side of the Atlantic.
It sat there, peacefully, unperturbed by my presence. Slowly, it moved its' thin, pointed nose towards the ground, as if to indicate that it couldn't care less if I sat down beside it.
I hesitated, wondering if perhaps it had rabies, knowing that it obliterates shyness and draws the animal out of its' comfort zone to seek contact.
But it didn't move. It just fixed its small dark eyes on mine, and waited.
Molly the cat came to find me, and sensed the presence of something unfamiliar. Her body tensed and she made as if to protect herself. She too then sensed its' docility, and backed off.
I went and fetched my camera, and still it was there, in exactly the same position.
Later (after some sleep) I thought I may have dreamed it. I went to check, and it was gone.