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The Mongoose

I haven't written a story for a while and this one was was brought up last night when several of my crew were over for dinner.

First of all this was not an original idea on my part I had read about this gag in a book.It just so happened that one of the guys on the crew was an animal lover and was always feeding the birds and small mammals around the job site.It got to be a problem and a couple of us decided to pull this trick on him.

We were in southern Georgia on the edge of the Okefenoke swamp.If you were out walking you kept an eye out for snakes and even alligators were seen from time to time.Our animal loving friend even took a few small snakes home with him,losing a roomate in the process.At times we had trouble keeping the reptiles out of our buildings as our work progressed we disturbed their home.Our friend didn't like us killing the snakes and asked if we couldn't find another way to keep them out.This was how the plot then unfolded.

I went to our carpenter shop and asked if they could build me a box.I explained it needed to be a special box and that one end needed to be a screen mesh.It also needed to have a spring loaded catapult that could be activated by pressing a button on the side.The carpenters realizing that a plot was being hatched immediately got into the spirit.Next I went to a guy on the crew that I knew to be a hunter and asked if he had any skins of any kind.He said he didn't have any avaliable but he was sure he could trap something with all the animals being around.

The next morning the carpenters brought me the box and showed me how it worked.Instead of a button they had put a lever on one side that when pulled up released the catapult and the top of the box flew off throwing what was inside out.It was a diabolicly well constucted.Later that day my hunting friend brought me a skunk he had killed and the plot was set.

Loading the box and setting the catapult I carried it out into the warehouse.I had added a few small pebbles in with the dead skunk and it sounded like something was moving inside when the box was moved.Setting the box on a table I walked away for a minute or so knowing it would draw attention.Sure enough when I came back two guys were eyeing the box.One was our animal loving friend and he asked me about it.Well buddy I said that's what you have been wishing for.It's a mongoose and he's going to keep the snakes away.A mongoose he said,where did you get one of those?I told him I had no idea who had gotten it but here it was.He tried looking through the screen to see but couldn't.I said come on let's take it over here in the corner and let it out.Just as I had planned my friend asked if he could do the honors.I showed him how the thing was set up and that all he had to do was pull the lever up.Our friend knelt next to the box on the floor and pulled the lever.The skunk flew out hitting him right in the chest.Instinctively his arms came up cradling the dead skunk to him.He screamed and dropped the skunk and was off to the races.It took him about three minutes before he was back with a look of chagrin.Realizing he had been had he joined in the laugh.He got the point and we had fewer animals around messing with things.

We kept that box for a few years using it several times to make a point here and there.I lost track of it about two years ago and wonder sometimes if it still around on one of the jobs someplace.     

traveler traveler 51-55, M 3 Responses Mar 12, 2007

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That's a good one I'll have to try that :'D

This made me go looking for plans! There's pics and videos at http:themongoosebox.com

Ahhh... A well constructed prank.