I wade a swift, clear stream that reaches nearly to my knees and start climbing, grasping saplings to pull my way skyward. At the base of a giant red oak, Rowdy is "stretched out": back paws on the ground, front paws on the tree, shredding its bark with his claws. His barks are clanging bells, loud enough to hurt my ears. Aark! Aark! Aark! Aark! Aark! He is frantic. Rowdy circles the tree on his back legs, standing as high as my shoulder, flanks and muzzle streaked with blood from a cut from some thorn or old wire, musclecorded, eyes flashing in my headlamp, spittle and bark flying as he attacks the tree. Aark! Aark! Aark! [pagebreak] "Get on him, Rowdy, get on him," Baker coaches. "Talk to him, boy." Johnston and Baker hiss and shriek like fighting coons, trying to get the animal to move, but after 10 minutes, it's clear the raccoon has curled up in a den, safe and snug, and is certain not to show.