It started out the same as any other July Wednesday in Nisswa. The turtle races were in full swing, the donut stand was somehow still managing to sell fresh hot mini doughnuts in 85 degree heat, and the bright red and yellow stage coach could be seen charging through town pulled by two of the biggest grey horses the average person had ever seen. Mr. Mayhem Raccoon, the food columnist for Our Neck of the Woods, was scurrying about town looking for food to liberate from its rightful owners. It was one of those days with no wind, the sort that's so hot even the mosquitoes refuse to fly.
Lacy and Tori pulled into the stage stop, bringing the stagecoach and its slew of passengers to a halt so they could be unloaded. The girls happily slurped up water as the ground crew did their best to cool them down before the start of the next ride. In typical masked mammal fashion, the raccoon was slinking about under foot hoping to separate some poor soul from their mini doughnuts.
“Stage is heading out!” The driver shouted, as the last passenger climbed aboard. Like the red sea the crowd parted to clear a path for the horses, heeding the driver’s warning. The horses had just begun to creep forward when an unearthly screech pierced the din. Everything slammed to a halt and the source of the terrible wail was soon located.
Mr. Raccoon lay on the ground near the back wheel, holding his tail in the air and alternating between shouting, “My beautiful tail! It's ruined!” and chattering at the sky in what one can only assume to be the raccoon equivalent of spewing obscenities.
Turns out that only the very tip of the raccoon’s tail had been run over and he had sustained no real injuries. Still the shaken up raccoon was out for retribution and demanded to be compensated for his emotional trauma. Wanting to make things right the Stagecoach driver offered to pay for the raccoon’s medical expenses including the unnecessary air lift and full body CAT scan that the little animal had demanded, but that was not enough to placate the raccoon. Legal threats were exchanged and some rather unkind sentiments thrown about, but eventually a settlement out of court was reached. It was agreed that Mr. Racoon would become the half owner of Our Neck of the Woods and the publication's name would be changed to Great Northern News.
Both Tinker the Dog and Brooster the Rooster have commented that the whole thing seemed rather convenient for the raccoon.
Watch for the name change in the next issue of Our Neck of the Woods- that is, Great Northern News! Find your favorite stories and articles online at www.greatnorthernnews.com.