The smell of destruction filled the air. It permeated everything and there was no escape. The raids have taken their toll and hopelessness filled the hearts of the people. The raiders go by many names, night stalkers, dark travelers, clawed and masked demons to name a few. These raiders always are attacking at night breaching defenses and laying waste to our food stores. Now the kingdom was under siege and the fields were burning. The Owl King did not know how his people came into this situation. He only knew that they were in it and the situation was dire. The walls were breached, food stores destroyed, and panic was gripping the people. This was not so a few weeks ago. It was a scene of serenity with nature flowing in all of her marvels. Yes, the land was gripped in a eight year drought, but preparations were made and the people were taken care of. There was a balance and that balance was to be maintained.
The fortress was small and elevated. It was a wonder of modern scrounging made from 2×4’s and sheets of plywood. It was three feet off the ground on a single 4×8 sheet making up the floor and another making up the roof. The walls were another sheet of plywood that was ripped down the middle long side. Windows were cut into the walls and covered with chicken wire for ventilation. The design was taken from the grimoire of many sages that had extensive dealings with chicken fortresses. It was solid and could with stand a siege.
The first sign of probing came was that the feed bucket was turned over and there were claw marks on the lid; as if something or someone was attempting to pry the lid open. Not understanding the signs and symbols I believed it was the rooster Romeo. It was a Shakespeare brood. Romeo is glorious in both disposition and size by weighing in at 9.3 lbs. A hearty size for a Delaware Rooster if one is keeping track. This happened several times until I hung up the food canister off the ground. Hay! Take that you rooster I foiled your plot to open the food canister.
The next day the canister was still on its nail suspended in the air which was expected. On a further examination there was a poop on the lid. A POOOOOOOOPPPPPPPP!!! A long, cylinder, poop not of chicken origin!!! This cannot be! The walls surrounding the fortress, 6 foot field fence with chicken wire extending two feet from the bottom, was intact. Yet, like a ninja, it was scaled and a poop was left as a calling card. The courtyard was violated! What creature would do this? Such disrespect and willful violation was never seen before in the kingdom. The king needed answers so he went to his trusted sage to find those answers.
Keeping his anger under control he talked to his sage, “Google, give me the answer to this crappy question. What animal deals out this type of poop?”
Google, “Sire, there is only one creature that has a poop like that and it is the mythical and ancient Procyon Lotor!”
Owl King, “What the hell is that? I never heard of this thing, this creature of ancient and mythical proportions.
Google speak clearly what is its name!”
No, never, not in these parts. A raccoon has not been seen here in ages. The Owl King told himself. Yet, there it was, scribed by the great sage Google with a picture of a cute masked critter. At that moment a thought a memory came to the king and he remembered what his good friend Abraham Lincoln stated, “Don’t believe everything that Google tells you just because there a picture with a quote next to it.” Or something of the like for it has been some time since the king saw his old friend Mr. Lincoln.
The word went out to the land that the mythical creature called raccoon has returned to the land after an eon of absence. Treasure the king thought to himself, “It is treasure that I need to hire a sentinel to watch over the courtyard and to track the cute little ninjas.”
With that the king searched about and found the perfect sentinel. The hire had great vision being able to see both in the light and dark. Infinitely patient at the task on hand and was not concerned by being constantly asked if something of note happened. The name of this perfect sentinel is Game Camera. Once briefed on what to do Game Camera was set out to do the duties that a sentinel was hired for. You know, sentinel stuff! On the morning the king went out to Game Camera and retrieved the recordings of the night and with hands shaking placed the recordings of Game Camera, for the king does not speak .jpg, in the hands of the Earl of Laptop.
The shock was written all over the king’s face for there was not one raccoon, but three. Scrambling the king took his trusted steed, Brutus, to the nearest purveyor of live traps. Capture and release was the order of battle. Capture them; hold them 24 hours, and release. A trap was purchased along with multiple cans of sardines. Some sardines were in oil, hot mustard, and hot sauce. With extensive surveying the king then strategically placed the live trap down and baited it with hot mustard sardines. Game Camera took a better position to over watch the trap and the happenings.
All types of thoughts ran through the king’s head. He wondered of the nature of the mythical creature that legends say can open doors, jars, and fade into the night. He wondered if the raccoon would turn to stone in the daylight just as trolls would. He also thought about if they would burst into flame and turn to ash in the morning light. Legends even say that they are shape shifters. How would the king explain capturing small children in his trap baited with sardines? Some would surely say magic of the highest order and foulest kind was being done with caged children and hot mustard sardines.
The cock crowed, it was Romeo, signaling the dawn. Well more like the pre-pre-dawn for it was still dark as pitch. Anyway, the king moved out into the land with Sir Flash Light at his side. Approaching the trap both the king and Sir Flash Light saw the eyes of the creature. The myth made flesh. It was big! Bigger than expected it was so big it was, well no it was not that big. In fact it was average in size for a raccoon. In any case it was exceptional since this was the first raccoon to be trapped ever! In the kingdom that is.
As the king and Sir Flash Light started to leave Game Camera gave his report. Again, the mythical creatures were on display. The report was clear. Within trapped there were still more out there in the wild. What to do? The law was clear on the sentence of pooping in the courtyard. That sentence was to hold for twenty four hours and release with a stern warning of not to return. Banishment for the intern on release was what was done. On the dot at the twenty four hour mark the prisoner was released with its stern warning not to return.
Since there were others the trap was reset with sardines in Tabasco sauce. Game Camera was on duty per the usual and the night closed in……
End of Part One of the Sage of Procyon Lotor……..