by | Oct 17, 2022

Tabasco the Saucy Raccoon, Chapter 3


When the Vancouver Zoo in Stanley Park asked me to look after Tabasco after her mother was shot for raising her family in the attic of a Vancouver house, I was living on the third floor of a no-pet apartment below Simon Fraser University and doing a couple of degrees.

The landlady said, “No dogs or cats”. She never asked me about raccoons!

So I would carry Tabasco up and down three flights of stairs in a shopping bag, pretending the raccoon was my shopping. Tabasco came with me every day in the car to university so she was a very well educated raccoon. In fact, she was the mascot of the English Department and her photo was in the English Department calendar. We did our master’s degree together. This is our picture on Graduation Day.

After we got home from our media tour across Canada, my parents from Australia were staying in our apartment as well. Here’s an excerpt from chapter 3 titled THERE’S A RACCOON IN MY APARTMENT.

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Tabasco the Saucy Raccoon

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About Tabasco the Saucy Raccoon

By Diana Lowery

Tabasco lives up to his name as he creates plenty of spicy adventures for his caretaker.

Adopting a three-week-old raccoon is a challenging responsibility even for an experienced wildlife researcher, but the rewards for keeping him hid from her landlord and smuggling him onto planes for a tour of Canada are worth the effort. Tabasco becomes a treasured asset to the author’s lecture circuit as she promotes animal research.

In Tabasco the Saucy Raccoon, author Lyn Hancock presents a chronological description of each stage of development as her pocket-sized, adorable critter grows into a full-sized raccoon. This memoir is a testament to Hancock’s patience and her concern for animal welfare. Her intention is to teach Tabasco the skills needed to live on his own. The situations that arise between the teacher and her pupil are both humorous and educational. Hancock’s writing skills are evident in this easy reading, 165-page story. The short chapters make this suitable for young readers. The descriptive passages make it enjoyable for an older audience.

The best part of this book is the realistic dialogue. Lyn’s conversations with both humans and animals add humor to the already comical circumstances that occur when raising wildlife inside your home. The trick-or-treat scene is one of my favourites. I also enjoyed the way that the author explains the various clicks and chirps that Tabasco uses to converse with her.

This book would be a perfect read-aloud in an elementary classroom. The students would be captivated by Tabasco and would be learning some zoology in the process. I was drawn to the story because I used to have a raccoon that knocked on my kitchen door at night asking for his dinner. After reading this book, I am glad I never encouraged my nocturnal friend to come inside.

Tabasco the Saucy Raccoon deserves 4 out of 4 stars. It is exceptionally well-edited: I found no errors. The cover is attractive, and the illustrations are clever. The black and white photographs at the end are endearing. The book will appeal to a wide range of readers. I recommend it specifically to nature lovers who appreciate the bond between animals and humans.