Read The Tsar's Dwarf (Hawthorne Books)

Read The Tsar's Dwarf (Hawthorne Books)
"A curious and wonderful work of great human value by a Danish master." Sebastian Barry, Man Booker finalist (Click on the picture to go to the book's Amazon page)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Thank You, Hermann Göring. At Least You Got One Thing Right.

The other day a raccoon walked down my street in Copenhagen.

I don't know if it were looking for me, but unfortunately I wasn't home. But that's beside the point. What's interesting is that we actually don't have any raccoons in Denmark. Vaskebjørnen, the raccoon, is not a Danish animal. It's an illegal immigrant.

But I'm so happy about this sighting I could scream with joy. You see, I adore raccoons. I often spot them in Portland, Oregon. The raccoon is a North American animal; it's everywhere in the Pacific Northwest. But how on earth did it end up in Copenhagen?

I did some research on the subject and it turns out that Hermann Göring is to blame. Yes, that's right, good old Hermann Göring, the "beloved" Nazi leader who adored two things in life, wienerschnitzel and concentration camps.

Apparently, Hermann Göring liked to go hunting, so one day in 1934 he got hold of four raccoons and let them loose in Hessen. "I'll come back and shoot them later," the fat slob said to himself and went back home and tortured some gypsies.

Yes, believe it or not, Hermann Göring, the fat fuck, introduced the raccoon to Europe and the raccoons just adored the surroundings. The four raccoons turned into four thousand, then into forty thousand and so on. Now seventy year's later, they're all over Central Europe and since they don't respect borders, they have now turned north and crossed into the Kingdom of Denmark.

Believe it or not, they're not welcome. The authorities consider them invaders the same way we considered the Nazis invaders in 1940. However, most of us Danes are still fascinated with the raccoons because there are so few of them. Let me give you an example. Last summer it made national news that a frightened man in Smørumnedre called the authorities when he found a raccoon in his shed.

"You don't belong here," he shouted at the raccoon that probably was munching on the Danish flag, spitting out the white cross on his manicured lawn.

"Maybe it's a Muslim," his daughter whispered and ran back into the house to play with her Lego.

The authorities picked up the raccoon and put it into a home with four other raccoons that also had entered our country without a visa.

So yes, the raccoons are here. They're even in the middle of Copenhagen now, walking down my street as if they were going Christmas shopping.

I'm thrilled to death by this. Raccoons are absolutely adorable, and I feel like cuddling them to death when I see them. Sure, they're a menace, but we need to spice up our parks and forests and the raccoon is perfect for the job.

"But Peter, you're insane," my girlfriend says, "the raccoons are nasty. They can tear a baby to shreads."

I know but who needs babies, anyway? Or cats, dogs, and tulips? I know that raccoons aren't political correct. They move into attics and rearrange the furniture. They destroy flowerbeds and piss in swimming pools. They'll even munch on your doorknob if you don't feed them their favorite kind of pizza.

But honestly, we need a sense of adventure in Denmark. Right now it's impossible to be attacked by any kind of wildlife, but with the raccoon around, at least you can get your eyes scratched out.

So thank you, Hermann Göring. I'm not an admirer of your fat ass, but at least you got one thing right back in 1934.

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