Raccoonteur

According to a very reliable source, raccoons are taking over Scarsdale, N.Y.

This may be long overdue. According to one Old Lyme commuter who wishes to have his name withheld, it is the best news since Coolidge refused to run for a second term. ''We have watched Scarsdale over the years,'' he said, looking out the window of his commuter train, ''and frankly, we have never seen a place better suited to raccoons.''

Part of the problem stems from the fact that all Scarsdale houses are hidden by trees. And also the highway superintendent is a man by the name of Woodcock. All of which no doubt gives raccoons the impression that if people live in forests and have an official named Woodcock, they also want wildlife. It is a mistaken concept, of course, as birds and other friendly woodland animals have found out.

Evidently, when night comes, Scars-dalians are kept awake by the crashing garbage can lids. As they sit behind barricaded doors they realize they are losing the final battle which will prove raccoons are smarter than people. An issue which has been debated for many generations.

Putting rocks on top of garbage cans has not helped. Several people have even fastened the lids down with chains and padlocks, but, according to statements made in secret council, the raccoons have been able to pick the locks. Either that, or someone is supplying them with keys.

In this computer age, people may be given too much credit for intelligence. This is usually based on such incidental information as that clever Connecticut commuters are using 17-cent Connecticut Turnpike tokens in place of 75-cent New York subway tokens in the underground turnstiles of Manhattan. But, while this proves a sort of ingenious crookedness on the part of persons whose larcenous ancestors carved wooden nutmegs, it does not say much for the intellect of the billion-dollar subway planners.

In desperation, suggestions have been made to increase the Scarsdale dog population. Fortunately this has been rejected.

Eventually people can learn to coexist with raccoons. It is quite another matter when a community goes to the dogs.

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