It All Started with the Fall Gratitude Celebration!

 November 9, 2020 11:30am

Sundays on the Porch with Stanley (only it's Monday) After finding Stanley this morning on the deck, out cold, the story unfolds. (See post below.) First, I help Stanley get up and seated back on his favorite seat, while checking over his body, arms and legs to make sure nothing is broken. Me: Stanley, what in the world happened out here? Are you okay? Stanley: Yes. I am. Could I have some coffee first, please? Then I’ll try to explain what I can. Me: Yes, yes. I just got you a fresh cuppa of your favorite. And, you should know, several neighbors have already called to complain about a lot of late-night noise and fighting. This is a mess! Even dragon was on the floor. Now tell me. What happened? Stanley: First of all, I am fine. A little bruised but not badly hurt anywhere. I can fill in some of it, but probably not all of it. It started with our Fall Gratitude Celebration. Me: Ah! So, you were having a party, then? Stanley: Yes, a big festive celebration. We do it every year as we finish the harvesting and gathering of our food for the winter. All the critters put up booths to share their bounty with each other. And, <grinning> also to steal a little from each other. Granted, no one puts out their Gold Label stuff. We just put out a little from our regular stashes. Me: Oh, well that sounds nice and neighborly, right? Everyone is happy and sharing with each other? Stanley: Yes. Mostly. There’s always a few fights that break out but generally they're nothing to worry about. Some of us "calmer heads" step in to help settle things down if they get out of hand, and, the band just cranks it up a bit louder to bring in those happy vibrations, you know. We’ve never had a problem before this year. Me: Oh wow! What happened different this year? Stanley: Well, there’s a rogue group of raccoons that recently saw an online video about a man in Montana who feeds a mob of raccoons hot dogs and cookies every night. They are calling themselves The Midnight Raiders! They even have their own tee shirts! Me: Oh wow! So, I’m guessing The Midnight Raiders showed up last night? Stanley: Yes, they did. They had a float that looked like a big juke box and rode into the lower bayou, crossing the bridge down there by Grandfather Tree, around 12:30 am with the music just a blarin’! They were playing “Long Tall Sally!” You know that one? All of them were belting out something about “Havin’ me some fun tonight!” Me: Oh my! This sounds like it must have been very disruptive to your Gratitude Celebration. Stanley: What? Oh no! It was fun and we welcomed The Midnight Raiders with open arms. Everyone joined in singing and dancing! You know, we critters don’t like to miss any opportunity to parteeeey!! Me: Hmm. Yes, I do know that part. So how did this whole thing go south? Stanley: Well, that’s the part I don’t exactly remember, you see. Me and several friends were up here on the deck playing a little hand of poker. You know how much we love our friendly weekend poker games, right? Well, when the music started playing, we all jumped up to see what was going on. All of us were too short to see over the deck to the lower bayou, so several of us jumped on top of the other critters to see if we could see better. That’s the truth and it’s also the last thing I remember. Sadly. I think I missed a whole lotta of fun out here last night. <lowering and shaking his head sadly> Me: Well, I’m not even sure what to say about that. Did you just knock each other out then? Btw, it looks like you have something in your pocket? Stanley: What? Where? <feeling around in his pockets, finds a note, unfolds it and takes out his reading glasses to read> hmmm. This isn’t good. It’s a ransom note. Someone has been kidnapped. I don’t think we need to keep talking about it up here. I think we need to take a walk down to Grandfather Tree and see what things look like down there and find out who’s missing. Don’t you?? Me: I’ll get my boots. (This story will be continued later this week after we’ve investigated this serious situation. Stay tuned.)


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