This is a paperback book that I believe was bought new around 1980 – 1981. (I think my mom bought it, and we lived in Western Massachusetts at the time, although she gave it to me to read on a trip to New York City to visit my grandparents.) It was a slim book with pictures for school-age kids, but I think it was closer to the size of a typical chapter book rather than a picture book.
The story is about a little girl who at some point ends up fighting or having some kind of conflict with an animal outside, who I think was a racoon (although for some reason a fox also comes to mind, maybe instead of or in addition to the racoon? There also may have been no fox). The conflict in the story was quite emotional – I remember the little girl feeling both mad and maybe sad, and I’m pretty sure she also ultimately cared about the racoon/animal. The racoon/animal may have also been injured or in trouble somehow. I liked the story, but it wasn’t the most bright or cheerful tale.
I think the little girl had straight or wavy black hair worn up in a ponytail. I also feel like she wore a skirt ending above her bare knees. The pictures were delicate, and – at least in some cases – had dark features or strong shadows. The color I remember most apart from the dark aspects is orange…which kind of overlaps with my memory of a fox and its reddish-orange fur.