Situation Normal. Atmosphere Breathable. Brainstem Injected. Dialogue Engaged.
Friday, July 01, 2005

The Accidental Taxidermist Part One

Yesterday afternoon I saw a fat kid in a wheelchair rolling his way down the street. I watched for a moment until I saw him glance at me. It's rude to stare at the handicapped. They know what your're thinking:

"Poor kid. Life must be so rough for him. I'm glad I'm not crippled."

I pretended to forget I'd seen him, and studiously looked everywhere but in his direction. When I heard the thump and rattle, however, I couldn't help myself. I looked back. The kid had been racing downhill on a slight incline of pavement, and catching a knobby stick abandoned on the sidewalk, he'd crashed. He'd tumbled forewards from the chair, scraping his elbows and knocking his head. I kept a straight face. Barely.

The kid bounced to his feet, swore, and kicked the chair over. He wasn't crippled at all. He was joyriding. Now I could laugh safely, and I did. The sweaty kid fetched his upended wheelchair and planted himself back on the grey seat. He huffed and puffed and wheeled himself away, focused and intent on reaching ten miles per hour.

He'd been a a minute too early. A squirrel hopped out from the bushes, grabbed the stick in its jaws, and turned to bounce back into the foliage. It didn't make it.

A larger mammal leapt out and pounced upon the squirrel. A raccoon, perhaps. It pinned the squirrel's tail to the sidewalk and swiped right at the little creature's chubby cheeks. The squirrel squirmed and dropped the stick, and the coon let go of the tail. The frightened squirrel zoomed away. The raccoon carefully nudged the stick back to its exact former position on the sidewalk, sniffed it, and satisfied, ambled casually back to the bushes.

It was time to get myself in trouble again. I walked over to the bushes and looked around. Two gleaming yellow eyes blinked up at me. The coon yelped and fled. I walked slowly after, wondering whether the strange behavior was evidence of abstract thought, intelligence, or obsessive compulsive behavior. Maybe even humor. I skirted my way through the bushes, trying to catch a glimpse of the animal's destination.

I fell into an old tribal trap, the covered hole. A grid of weak branches, fallen leaves, torn grass, and loose dirt covered a wide gap in the earth. When I set my foot upon it, it collapsed under me, and down I fell, twenty feet. My head struck a rock, I think, and the lights went out.

I awoke to tongues on my face. Raccoons were licking blood from my forehead.

Duty calls. I've got to travel a bit for work today, so I'll finish this heartwarming tale of human-animal relations next week.
1:19 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm


July 01, 2005 2:27 PM, Blogger Stace said...

I'm your first, that NEVER happens. Either way, I was just getting interested, why must you leave me hanging like this?

July 01, 2005 2:30 PM, Blogger Windjammer said...

Dammit! A cliffhanger right before a 3 day weekend. What to do, what to do?

July 01, 2005 2:54 PM, Blogger Chicken said...

I was waiting for your post today and now you leave us hanging.

July 01, 2005 5:42 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Wait! Come back! Was the stick shaped like a Buddha? Was it maybe an Indian talisman? Were any of the raccoons pregnant? If so, by whom? Geez, don't leave us hanging!!

July 01, 2005 5:50 PM, Blogger alix said...

the raccoon looks as if it just jumped into "ninja stance" and said "HEY!"

blood-lapping raccoons? this oughta be good...

July 01, 2005 9:15 PM, Blogger Lostinspace said...

Hmmm. I wonder if you have woken up to other things besides raccoons licking blood off your forehead.

July 02, 2005 1:25 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

But aren't we all crippled, just in different ways?

July 03, 2005 10:07 AM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Steve: That was a great idea you had over at Latigo's site to write his story. That was fun.

July 04, 2005 1:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can not believe I googled "Pope on a rope" and found your blog. must admit that it was a great accident though because you have made me laugh today. What a wiity and wonderful writer you are.

July 05, 2005 8:06 AM, Anonymous lost in space said...

Going underground.... la la la
Who said that?

July 05, 2005 9:20 AM, Blogger Kerouaced said...

You are truly whacked my friend. Racoons are crafty creatures usually working at night. They've been known to steal heavy machinery, backhoes and the like and dig just the type of hole you fell into...looking forward to part II...

July 05, 2005 9:37 AM, Blogger Dave Morris said...

Well. It's Tuesday, goddamn it. Where's part 2? We're getting irritable here! I spent the entire weekend in nervous, unrestful anticipation.

July 05, 2005 12:33 PM, Anonymous sarcastrix said...

Have I told you lately that I think you're weird?


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