Masked Marvel's Night Job

story & illustration © 2001 Bruce Van Patter

swald didn't like having the whole forest think of him as a hero. There was just too much pressure.
He'd rather to go back to being an ordinary raccoon. But he didn't have a choice, not after he got rid of that huge bear that had wandered into their woods. Just because Oswald was tricky didn't make him a superhero. He wasn't even very brave.

Try telling that to the other animals. They thought he could do anything. He just wanted to wash his hands of the whole thing. He was good at that -- washing hands.

But like it or not, here he was, slowly sneaking his way through the dark forest. The Council had sent him to rid the forest of the latest unwanted visitor. He had tried to suggest that a skunk was better at this kind of thing, but they wouldn't listen. Then the squirrels started chanting, "We want Os-wald!" over and over again. He just sighed and gave in. Stupid squirrels.

The light grew as he got close to the creature -- yellow light, making shadows dance on the leaves above. Fire! He fought the fear, the urge to run. He crept up, weaving beneath the bushes, silent as smoke. His eyes got used to the light.

There was the monster! It was a large, glowing square, pointed at the top. No -- it must be the creature's den, for inside it was a shadow of something moving. A tall, thin monster, with two legs and two skinny arms was -- OH, GROSS! thought Oswald. IT'S PULLING ITS SKIN OFF OVER ITS HEAD! oh... wait... that's just a shirt.

Still, that was enough. He was not the raccoon for the job. He turned to go, but then caught the whiff of something yummy on a table ahead. That's when the plan first popped into his head.

It's Your Story - Give this raccoon hero a great ending!

How will Oswald rid the forest of this new monster? Write an ending in which our raccoon hero tricks or scares the camper out of his tent and the campground! What food will Oswald enjoy the most? And... is he ready for s'more adventure?

Have fun -- finish the story -- and be creative! If you want to, email me your ending!