The Tales of Ben the Raccoon: Volume One


I would like to state that this story I have written is entirely fictional. As far as I know this has never happened.

The Tales of Ben the Raccoon: Volume One

Operation Cannonball

Ben the Raccoon met an unfortunate end at the hands of That Guy only a short while ago, and he is greatly missed by raccoons everywhere. (Well, maybe not everywhere, although tales of Ben had spread far and wide, and spread even wider after his tragic death). The usual “remember when Ben,” was now tinged with sadness. The raccoons still told stories about Ben, and I believe they will still be telling stories about him, many, many, years from now. The legend of Ben lives on. Why, you may ask, are we talking again about a dead raccoon? The answer to that question, is that I feel the world ought to know more of Ben, as his adventures are worth knowing, and it would be tragic indeed if his story was lost.

So here we are again, to hear the tales of Ben the Raccoon! To get a firsthand account, we shall sit down and listen to Helen tell us about the time Ben got stuck in a chimney- although I must warn you, Helen likes to talk, we may be here for hours. You don’t mind? Good. Follow me.

Helen: It was Bob-that-lives-in-a-barrel’s birthday, and all his friends had come to celebrate-including Ben. My husband Jake and I were there too. It was a wonderful party, but Bob had forgotten to get a good supply of adult beverages and they soon ran out. Now, I told them we could just pop over to my friend Mary’s house, she sells whiskey, but did they listen? No, they did not. They wanted to steal whiskey from this house across the street, a human called, um, what’s-his-name, That Guy or something. I told them it was a bad idea, I said to my Jake, “be the bigger raccoon, Jake dear, don’t let them do it.”

He then suggested they sneak in through the chimney. And they thought it was an excellent idea, but what it really was was an immature and foolish idea! Hmm. But full steam ahead they went, I tried to stop them, I am not responsible for what happened.

At any rate, they strolled across the street and stopped in front of the house scratching their heads, because, just imagine, they didn’t know how to get to the roof.

“We could build a flying machine,” said somebody, I won’t say who.

“We could stand on each others’ shoulders,” said somebody more intelligently.

“We could climb up the gutters.” said Jake. That idea was met with unanimous approval, and the plan was immediately carried out. Once standing on the roof, they realized they needed a rope to aid in their venture down the chimney. The rope was fetched, and one by one they climbed down inside the chimney. After several anxious minutes, they began to reappear one by one, each clutching a bottle. Soon they were all safely standing on the roof except for Ben.

“What’s wrong, Ben?” Jake called down.


“I might be a bit stuck.” Said Ben finally.


“I can’t get this barrel o’ whiskey up the chimney!”

“A barrel of whiskey?!” Bob exclaimed in surprise. “Why didn’t you just get a bottle like everybody else?”

“And leave all this good whiskey for the humans?” Ben snorted. “Nah, That Guy has had it coming for a long while. Remember when he blocked up Joe’s old home under the shed? Joe was still in there…..”

Ben would not be convinced to leave the barrel behind, and a debate on how to get him and the barrel out ensued.

“We could take the chimney apart brick by brick until Ben was free.”

That idea was not met with much enthusiasm.

“We could…..”

Ideas were running short.

“You know, there’s some fireworks in this garage here.”

Everybody turned to look at Jake.

“Well, see, we could get some fireworks and put them in the fireplace and set them off, and Ben would come shooting out of the chimney like a cannonball out of a cannon.” He looked around to see how many people thought that was crazy. Surprisingly, while the craziness of the plan was not disputed, all immediately agreed to carry it out.

Now, by that time every raccoon for five miles had found out Ben was doing something crazy again, they felt it in their bones. Most of them thought they would just pop over to see what was going on, and so there was a rather large crowd gathered in front of the house as Operation Cannonball was executed.

The garage was entered easily through a tunnel made by Ben himself a long time ago, so he could- no, that’s another story. The fireworks were then quickly gotten, carried to the house, and set down while the raccoons discussed the latest problem to come to their attention concerning Operation Cannonball. They couldn’t get in. They had originally entered through the chimney, but seeing as that entrance was now blocked by Ben and one large barrel of whiskey, another entrance was necessary. Eventually it was discovered that a window had been left open on the lower floor, a small window, but a window. Two teams of raccoons, each team composed of multiple raccoons standing on each other’s shoulders’, worked together to remove the screen. The screen was removed, and one by one three raccoons dropped down onto the toilet, perfectly positioned under the window. It would have been more perfect if the lid had been down, for then Jake wouldn’t have fallen into the toilet bowl and nearly woken up That Guy and That Guy’s Wife, for that bathroom was their bathroom, and the adjoining room their bedroom. Nevertheless, neither That Guy nor his wife woke up, not when three raccoons slipped nearly noiselessly through their bedroom, not when three raccoons dumped a box full of fireworks into the fireplace, not when three raccoons searched through the house for a lighter, not when three raccoons dropped the lighter in the hallway, not when three raccoons attached a bit of string to the fireworks to serve as a fuse, giving them enough time to get out, not when three raccoons lit said fuse, and not when three raccoons quickly and quietly exited the house through the bathroom window. In fact, they didn’t wake up until the fireworks went off.

There have been many spectacular events in history. Many awe-inspiring occurrences. But Operation Cannonball was one of the greatest. The moon and the stars shone brightly down on the amazed crowd as a raccoon clutching a barrel of whiskey shot out of a chimney into the sky, sparks streaming from his tail, fireworks bursting all around in the most glorious display of foolish bravery the raccoons had ever seen. Operation Cannonball was a success.

The End.

Photo by Peter Unden on

I can’t stop picturing a raccoon clutching a barrel of whiskey flying through the air, fireworks bursting all around!

Perhaps now That Guy’s resolve to rid the world of raccoons can be understood. Partially, at least, there is another important reason That Guy doesn’t like raccoons, but I cannot reveal that. Not yet.

Now, once again, the amazing, the incredible, quote from one of my previous posts!

The Mournful Demise of Ben the Raccoon

“Run across Helen and she’ll chat with you for hours about the time he tried to get in a human’s house to get some more whiskey (they ran out at the party across the street) and got stuck halfway down the chimney.” -Kylli Berg

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