As it was, I had no idea of the day being so much better than thenights, for I always had plenty to think about on those nights; andthey were the best nights I had that winter, for the sky was clear and therewas no wind. In fact, I often thought that the clearness of the sky waswhy I had been closed up, to give me time to study the stars.
A little thing like being shut up for a week isn't so very bad either, andit would be nastier if I weren't able to think that the best thing init all was to be able to be quiet at that moment when I was shut up. Asit was, nothing could be more pleasant to me than to sit and think over agreat variety of things, and what I thought about was the idea of beingfree when I wasn't shut up. But, in justice to myself, I must say that Ididn't like the idea of going back to school and beginning to learn mylesson-books again. That was a very tiresome day, and I'd have much rathergone to rest.
But the time for studying was all over before long. My mother was alittle restless before she went to sleep, and was anxious to know what Ihad been studying, and all sorts of things. I didn't wish to tell her, butit wasn't in me to say I'd been studying; and after a little I couldfeel that she knew this, and I could see that she was disappointed. ButI was not sorry for it, for I had been studying all the time I was beingshut up.
The only other thing I had to do in those days was to walk about with thepoor, old cat and see if I could chase the chickens, but I didn't liketo use too much of my precious time for that sort of thing. I preferredto sit and think, and it was my best time. It was a very pleasant time,even when I had to leave off thinking on account of my mother going tobed. It was a far finer time than being shut up in a room with a lot ofother boys, for I had the feeling of being for the first time with all theworld alone.
Raccoons are extremely clever and intelligent, and if you catch one inits hunting-cavity, or in its own den, it will endeavour to escape byrunning under the cover of night, and will often hide itself in some convenientretreat. Wherever you catch the raccoons, you will find them well-guardedby their own families. They are extremely bold and fearless. If youattempt to approach too closely they will be startled, turn suddenlyaround, and run off to the nearest tree, and climb up as nimbly as acat, where they will remain in a safe position, ready to defend themselves.I have once seen a large number of raccoons, one after the other, flee onbeing discovered by the trapper, and run away at full speed.
After a while I found some chicken feathers, made a wigwam of them,and finally a nice soft bed. I was very happy. I think it was a littlebetter than my own bed at home. Then the mother-rapin came along. Thissin does not let any one sleep very well, and it knocked me down andmade me jump into the wigwam. Then it chased me again and again until ithad nearly chased me out of the woods. 827ec27edc