After The Storm: NonPlayerCharacters Introductions: Mr. Raccoon

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Originally posted on IC thread, page 36, post 357

"Yes. I am Mary," the little girl says, getting up still holding the cup and picking up the bouquet as well. “I was playing and got separated from mom. Mr. Raccoon gave me these so I wouldn’t be sad. You can’t see Mr. Raccoon though. He turns invisible when there are grown-ups present.”

”Oh thank you both,” Mary’s mother says as her daughter and Franz appear from the woods. “I was so worried. Mary dear, I told you to stay close, remember?”

“I saw a hedgehog,” Mary explains. “Then I got lost. Then I met Mr. Raccoon who said that if I don’t know where I am going and someone is looking for me, it is better to stay put and wait to be found rather than walk and end up even further away.”

“That was very smart thinking,” her mother says with a smile, then looks at what she is carrying. “Those are very nice flowers, where did you pick them?”

“I didn’t pick them. Mr. Raccoon gave them to me when we were waiting. And the yummies too. Only they don’t taste very yummy to me.”

Looking at the cup, the mother says: “Did you eat that? Honey, that is for the birds. Someone must have left the cup for them. You shouldn’t eat things you pick up from the ground.”

“I didn’t pick it up. Mr. Raccoon gave it to me, like I said.”

“Maybe they are yummy to Mr. Raccoon. Let’s leave the cup here for him. You can keep the flowers.”

At that moment a Park Ranger appears along the trail. On a cross country bike, the trail being too narrow for a car. Stopping, the ranger – the Cherokee ranger from earlier – says: “We had a report about a child lost and then found. I came to check that everything is all right.”

“Yes, everything is fine,” the mother answers. “These kind people found my daughter. Sorry for the trouble.”

“That is all right,” the ranger says. “Trouble is what we are here for. It is only a good thing when our help isn’t needed after all.”

“Thank you again, everyone,” Mary’s mother says. “But we should head home before the baby wakes. Say thank you to the kind people, Mary.”

“Thank you, kind people,” Mary says. “And bye.”

As little Mary and her mother head away, mother pushing the baby cart and Mary holding her flowers, the ranger turns to Gertrud and Franz (Alan and Samantha in disguise): “My thanks for your help as well. The forests on park grounds may be among the safest to get lost in, but it is still not a good feeling if a little kid goes missing for long.”