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The Adventures of Rufus and Roscoe Raccoon
by Jeff Connerton

Rufus and Roscoe Raccoon live in Deep Green Forest, a small lush valley nestled in the eastern reaches of Wild Nation.  Summer has come and the two cousins have settled into a comfortable warm weather routine. But their familiar cycle is broken by an urgent message from the western hills.  The Nation Council must convene at Big Mountain on the coming full moon: there have been sightings of the Human Who Speaks from the Heart.

The Human Who Speaks from the Heart is known only through a legend, first spoken by the Great Spirit and then handed down for generations among the critters. The legend tells of “a human spreading a light of only one color, pure blue”, whose coming marks the return of humans to the land.  Driven away hundreds of years ago by a huge fire storm, their return has been only a matter of time.  But this time all will be different.  This time a great peace will unfold between humans and all others, and with the peace will come the preservation of Wild Nation.  The key to the peace is communication between the Human Who Speaks from the Heart and the critters.

The human has been spotted on Big Mountain under mysterious circumstances.  Only a few critters claim to have seen it.  They offer no description other than the blue aura surrounding the human, and they give no explanation for its presence except to say it has left the mountain but will soon return.  The Nation Council must decide how to communicate with the human, and how to use its presence to assure a lasting peace with other humans who are sure to follow.  All areas of Wild Nation are to send a representative to the full moon meeting at Big Mountain.

Rufus is chosen by the local Circle Council to represent the Deep Green. He asks permission to have Roscoe accompany him and the council consents.  The full moon is a mere two weeks away.  With the help of family and friends the two cousins make quick preparations for their journey. On the eve of their departure Rufus and Roscoe receive a secret stone – a piece of blue turquoise - and are instructed to tell no critter of their treasure.  They are to present the stone to the Nation Council as proof of their status as chosen reps.  The cousins break the stone in two and stitch their pieces into deer hide collars.  Early the next morning they strike out for Big Mountain. 

The trip is a test of the raccoons’ cunning and courage.  Several obstacles of the Natural Way lie between Deep Green Forest and Big Mountain: Blue River, Phicky Swamp, Sticker Thicket Lowlands, Bravo Canyon, and finally the hot, rolling hills of Long Plain that stretch to the foothills of the Big.

Welcome to the world of Rufus and Roscoe Raccoon.

Rufus and his dream of the human

It started small that first night, Rufus and his dream of the Human Who Speaks from the Heart. Rufus saw himself behind a row of beautiful white trees, strange trees he'd never seen before. As he peered out from between the smooth slender trunks, he spied a blue light in the distance, moving with a quick but gentle force, straight toward him. As the light came close, a shape appeared inside. He couldn't believe his eyes.

Wendy and Rhonda sewing

Wendy and Rhonda set about the task of making traveling bags for Rufus and Roscoe. Wendy brought out her extra strong sewing needles to work the tough hide. They were the finest needles in all of Deep Green Forest and Wendy's most cherished possessions. "I sure hope those two know what they're doing," said Rhonda, "marching off to Big Mountain with no clues as to what's out there. What do you think, Wendy?"


Two tents in a clearing

Each tent glowed from the light of flashlights. Rufus and Wally sat stone still, waiting for the tents to go dark. "Rufus, we can't sit here much longer," Wally said. "Once that moon clears the trees, the meeting will start." "Patience," Rufus replied, recalling Rhum's advice and the power of his magic. "The human will know when the time is right."

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