Have you ever heard of a Japanese children’s story, called “Gon the Little Fox”? Here is how the story goes:
Gon (Japanese: ごん) is a little fox. Looking for food, he comes to a little village where he repeatedly steals food and creates other mischief. One day Gon steals an eel from Hyoju (Japanese: 兵十, ひょうじゅう), which is supposed to be presented to Hyoju’s sick old mother. Hyoju’s mother eventually dies. Unfortunate for Hyoju, the villagers accuse Hyoju of stealing the eel. They beat him up. Gon realizes how terrible his mistake is and tries to make it up by secretly giving Hyoju things. Although Gon only gives Hyoju mushrooms and nuts collected from the forest, Hyoju is grateful for the gifts. However, Hyoju never knows where they come from.
It seems like similar thing can happen in real life.
There are some acorns and chestnuts in front of my office’s door. Did a raccoon leave them there in return for the food we gave him?
Here are some other acorns and chestnuts. Are they really gifts from the raccoon?
There seems to be a raccoon laying nuts in front of an office’s door. The Twitter user supposed the nuts might be a return for cat food the raccoon sometimes takes. Other Twitter users shared different experience.
I remember my grandma used to tell a similar story of a raccoon leaving some nuts at doorstep.
We have sparrows that eat our rice on our Shinto altar. They leave large amount of insects in return. I’m sure this raccoon is doing the similar thing!
It seems like raccoons aren’t the only animal who pay back favor given to them. It’s a very nice gesture, although unfortunately most of the stuff they leave are not edible for humans. Anyhow, morale of the story, even animals understand how to return kindness. We are humans, should learn from this.