Goose-Stepping Raccoons

Goering wasn't the Nazis' only fat little bandit.

Germans call raccoons "Waschbern"--washing-bears--because of their habits of washing their food.

Raccoons are not native to Germany, but someone was raising them as a fur source for a while over there in the 20's and 30's. The idea didn't pan out, so the company's managers approached Hitler's favored lieutenant, Reichsmarshall Hermann Goering, to discuss what to do with them.

Along with being head of the Luftwaffe (air force), Goering was sort of Third Reich vice president-in-charge-of-everything-else, and one of his jobs was wildlife management and endangered species protection.  (By all accounts, he did a good job of it and his wildlife management laws are still on the books.)  So the company asked him if they could release the raccoons into the wild as a possible interesting game for hunters, instead of killing them all. Perhaps feeling a certain kinship between himself and the raccoons (which everybody knows look like fat little bandits), Goering gave his official approval and the raccoons were set free.

Raccoons have no natural enemies in Germany or anywhere else in Europe (come to think of it, they don't have any natural enemies here, do they?), and now they are EVERYWHERE.  The Wehrmacht has returned to its barracks, but the raccoons have marched across the continent of Europe, and nobody knows how to stop them.

And of course, they are doing what raccoons do, such as raiding chicken coops, nesting in chimneys, and killing people's cats.  Raccoons can be tough little customers, and recently, a German woman who had a tangle with one in her house, she said it almost bit her thumb off.  Europeans are quite upset about all this, and I can scarcely imagine what a state they would be in now if Goering had taken a liking to coyotes or opossums.

Now the raccoons have reached the English Channel, and British authorities are shocked, shocked, at the prospect of an invasion which could wreak havoc on their own native wildlife.  They don't exactly know what to do, but I can envision the foxes of England rallying, as some Churchillian old fox urges on his comrades, "We must meet them on the beaches, we must bite them in the britches, and we must never give up...etc, etc."  I suspect that somewhere in the Great Beyond, Hermann Goering is laughing.

Read other articles by Pukka Sahib or other articles on Bureaucracy.
Reader Comments

The English Channel is there and is wider and deeper than the Rio Grande. If it weren't Goering may just have been laughing in London. Forward to on the Fight, Fox Brigade!

October 12, 2007 1:13 PM
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