Sometimes questions seep into my brain and keep me awake at night. Questions like "How many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop?" and "Where could that Big Bird video we rented from the library be?" and "What caused The Great Raccoon Massacre of Twenty-Ten?"

That last question has plagued me for several nights now, and it occupies my mind every time I get into my van and drive down the road. It all started innocently enough...

We were headed to church on Sunday morning -- my husband driving, myself reclining in the passenger seat and our two daughters strapped in behind us -- when we passed the massacre scene. Five raccoons, dead in the road. Immediately, my detective radar beeped on high alert. One would expect to find one raccoon in the road, or possibly even two separated by an appropriate distance, but five? Five within ten feet of each other?

Maybe you are smarter. Maybe you can figure this out. Picture this for me, if you will:

A two lane road flanked by trees on the right and a corn field on the left. Two carcasses side by side on the right side of the road. Approximately four feet away, a third body near the center lines and three feet beyond that a fourth body in about the same position. The fifth cadaver occupied the left side of the road, not far enough over to be out of the way of traffic.

Now I ask you: what could have caused this mass destruction? I first surmised that poison had been involved. This must have been a renegade band of marauders, stealing from dumpster to dumpster, becoming a public menace that the mayor had sworn to obliterate. The Coonsters (as they had started calling their gang) had escaped the snares set before them time and time again, but this time the mayor's campaign promise to rid the town of these bandits changed the dynamic. He knew if he did not carry out his pledge, his re-election bid would be toast. The Coonsters swaggered their way around town late Saturday night, confident in their ability to scavenge successfully, but unbeknownst to them, one dumpster was a trap! The garbage bags had been laced with poison. As the gang stole away to their next crime-scene, the poison slowly worked its way through their systems, and WHAM! Killed them instantly in their footsteps as they crossed the road!

Yes/No?

Then I wondered, "Do raccoons travel in packs?" "And if they do, is it likely that a poison would kill them all at the exact same time?"

Oh great, more questions to keep me up at night.

My next theory follows thusly: A bored young man, a stolen gun and a moonlit night rendezvous by the side of the road. He must have previously studied the nocturnal habits of these lumbering mammals. He must have known that they habitually crossed the street right at this spot, and so he waited. Possibly perched in the bed of a truck. Possibly sitting in the driver's seat of a run-down car. Oh! But I've checked and rechecked that stretch of road for a likely parking spot. There is none. Therefore, did he take a lawn chair out to the field with him? He waited. Along came the first raccoon, unaware of his coming demise. BANG! It only took one shot. An hour or so passes before the young man hears another tell-tale rustling in the grass. He waits until the coon has halfway crossed the street. BANG! Oh rats! He only clipped him. BANG! He shoots again. This one lands on the center line. Another hour passes. The third ringtail enters the roadway, but wait! It sniffs the breeze. Something doesn't smell right. Slowly, unsure of where the danger lies, it turns around and heads back into the field. The boy un-tenses his shoulders and tells his brain to let the animal go. There will be more. He knows this.

What do you think? That's the answer for sure, right?

Maybe not?

Well, how about this scenario: a race car burns rubber as it accelerates down the street...

I do have more, but it just occurred to me that you may be bored with mine and want to submit a theory of your own.

If you will, please, tell me, WHAT CAUSED THE GREAT RACCOON MASSACRE OF TWENTY-TEN? I need to know so that I can stop imagining possible events. I need my sleep!
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5 Responses
  1. Tiffany Says:

    LOL. You are so funny! What caused the great raccoon massacre of twenty-ten? The world may never know...


  2. Suanna Says:

    It sounds like a family suicide. Mom died in the road and all the young stayed close so they could join her in raccoon heaven.


  3. Spencer Park Says:

    My guess would be that they met upon the much nastier "Rancid Racoon Gang!" They are a real nasty bunch!


  4. Que Says:

    That was an awesome post. I love listening to creativity. I could guess with you but I'm sure what I say would not offer you a solution... only more questions.


  5. Beth Says:

    WHAT????? No updates from you lately??? I saw a whole "herd" of raccoons the other day and thought of you!!!


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