Generally, I don’t like to present stories here that involve raccoons and rabies. First, such stories are extremely common and so this blog would end up being rather repetitive. Second, such stories rarely end well for the raccoon. However, this week a couple of friends saw fit to share a story about a raccoon with rabies being killed and even I had to take notice of it–as did some other news sources–if only because of the story’s abundance of irony.
It all started when the Bangor Daily News ran the article “Mainer Attacked by Rabid Raccoon Drowns it in a Puddle.” The key details of the story are as follows:
- The Mainer in question, Rachel Borch, a vegetarian, went jogging in the woods of Hope, ME.
- Shortly after realizing what a beautiful day it was, she was confront by a snarling, rabid raccoon on a narrow path.
- The raccoon immediately attacked her, biting her on the thumb and staying latched to it as it began clawing at her.
- As she struggled, her phone fell into a puddle. Noticing the water, Rachel immediately thrust the raccoon under the surface and held it in place until it died.
- She then pulled out her thumb and ran off to get medical attention.
- As she ran, she was worried that raccoon had not died and might still be chasing her. In her words: “It felt like Pet Semetary.” A reference to a novel written by prominent Maine resident, Stephen King.
Between the melodramatic prose of the article and little details included, writers at both Esquire, Daily Wire, and SB Nation were compelled to comment upon both the event itself and its coverage. The esquire commentary is especially impressive, working in an erudite reference to Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and even giving significance to the bag the raccoon’s body was placed in. Peculiarly, none of them bothered to comment on the ironic twist of fate for the raccoon: that late-stage rabies causes a fear of water, which would be prophetic for this animal as it ended up drowning.
Truly, truth is stranger than fiction. And high art? That hides in the most unassuming of places.