I just had a close encounter with a raccoon. Too close, to be exact. My husband wanted to take me out to dinner. He had made arrangements for a babysitter and everything! So we get ready and drop the kids off with the sitter. Then we go out and afterwards we go shopping without the kids. I notice that it's getting dark. So I say to DH, "We better get the kids & get home... I left the door to the coop open." and DH replies, "I want to go to W*****t and get some motor oil first. The chickens will be fine." Well, I argued a little bit more, but he continued to assure me that my ladies would be happily sleeping when I got back and all I'd have to do is shut the coop door. I was enjoying my child-free evening, so I gave in. Time flies, it's after 10pm, we've picked up kids & are headed home. I jump out of the truck with my little keyring flashlight to shut the coop door. DH comes too - to check on the horses. I get about 20 feet from the coop - shining my little light in and see my EE, Phoenix with her tail splayed, wings puffed out from her body, growling! I call DH as I'm walking toward her. I think she's upset that I'm shining a light on her. I am looking straight at Phoenix, talking to her, trying to calm her down. I step into the coop just as DH walks up behind me. DH yells and pulls me out just as I see that there is a coon on the wall beside me!!! He tells me to run to the truck and he starts to follow. I take about 3 steps away - then I turn back around. Oh No! No way am I leaving my ladies in there!! I get the pitchfork and stand in the doorway. DH is flipping out! So I hand him the pitchfork and tell him if it comes down to kill it. I then run to the house (500 feet down a pitch black path through the woods) to get the gun and a real flashlight. I grabbed a handful of bullets and the spotlight and ran, full speed, back to the barn. DH shoots it. It falls to the ground and dies. But that's not the end. I check the ladies. I'm missing 3. There are black feathers EVERYWHERE. Oh no. Blackie. One of my BAs. I'm also missing Red & Goldie - RIR & NH red, respectively. I search the area. There are no red or gold feathers anywhere... I am hoping that at least 2 got away & are hiding safely in the woods. My spotlight starts to fade. I walk around the pasture one more time and... wait... a hen... Blackie! She's missing a lot of feathers, but no broken skin! I put her back in the coop. My light goes out. I guess the last 2 ladies will have to wait 'till morning. I'm hoping they are okay. Like I said, no red feathers anywhere. Well, that's my story. I just wanted to write it down to get it "off my chest" before bed. I'll be up early - looking for my 2 survivors. Goodnight.