"Human morals," the raccoon said. "Why do you live guided by them?"
The girl looked at him. "Different people have different morals. Some will say, don't steal. Others will say, survival first - and steal to live. Morality is quite the shapeshifter to pin down."
The raccoon was silent for a long time.
"Is this about that family?" The girl asked.
"Yes..." The raccoon climbed up her leg and settled on her shoulder, as he often did when he was tired or lazy. Being small, he wasn't very heavy, and the girl didn't mind. "The parents were arguing, but the girl - Rachel - she didn't want to be pulled into it, correct? She said, 'what right do I have to judge another person's life?'"
"I believe human morals condemn infidelity?"
"Generally, yes. In the area we were in, their culture frowns upon it."
The raccoon hummed to himself. "It appears that she is immoral."
This time it was the girl's turn to be silent for a while. She finally spoke, slowly.
"This 'condemnation' you are talking about, things like 'how could you have an affair', 'don't you have any self respect', and so on, are really different versions of 'was I not good enough for you', aren't they? It's true that what her father did was wrong. But usually we give advice to people when we see them stray off the right track, and back off when they persist.
"In their case how are they to do that without begging? And how can she condemn without her own feelings of abandonment getting in the way? I believe she felt as such, and decided to let it go. In the end, she held on to her self-sufficiency, herself. I am what I need, she probably thought."
The raccoon sank down on her shoulder. "That's very lonely," he said.
The girl laughed. "I suppose so...it really confused you, didn't it?"
"Yes. I expected more yelling and crying, some violence probably. Instead..."
"Instead she dropped him like her life was on the line," the girl finished. "I don't really understand it either, but I think about it this way - we're really all alone. Everything else is fleeting, and to be grateful for, but in the end we really are all we have. Maybe he was her father, but looking broadly, he's also another human being, with his own life to live...they're connected, and she will be affected, and hurt, but she can't steer his way. She can steer her own path."
"Hmmm...it's so different from that time we met the madman, isn't it."
They traveled on.
Excerpt from Tales For Young Cubs, 6th Edition
Susie Suh - i do