I continue trying to make my life a little easier by reprinting chapters of a Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan fiction. It’s riffing on Arthur Scott Bailey’s 1915 children’s book The Tale of Fatty Coon. These chapters appeared before, way back in 2017, so I feel it’s fine to repeat this for everyone who’s missed.
In the first chapter, we met Fatty Coon, a raccoon who’s … fat. And then in Chapter II, Fatty gets attacked by a goshawk who would rather their eggs not be eaten. Again, Arthur Scott Bailey seems not to have liked his protagonist.
And, before I proceed, the content warning that Fatty Coon’s major personality is that he eats a lot, and so is enormously fat. So there’s original material, and there’s jokes, that are based on that. Everyone who’s had enough fat jokes in their recreational reading, you’re right. Skip this and we’ll catch up sometime later.
> FATTY DISCOVERS MRS. TURTLE’S SECRET
TOM: Oh, tell me this is about lingerie.
> After his adventure with the goshawk Fatty Coon did not go
> near the tree-tops for a long time.
MIKE: Not until the trees put some elevators in.
> Whenever he left home he would
> crawl down the old poplar tree in which he lived;
CROW: Achieving speeds of up to 400 miles per hour.
> and he wouldn’t
> climb a single tree until he came home again. Somehow, he felt safer
> on the ground.
TOM: ‘You know, nobody ever drops a pie onto a tree. The ground, though, that’s some prime stuff-being-dropped territory!’
> You see, he hadn’t forgotten the fright he had had, nor
> how the goshawk’s claws had hurt his back.
> It was just three days after his scare, to be exact, when
> Fatty Coon found himself on the bank of the creek which flowed slowly
> into Swift River.
TOM: Suppose that’s named for how fast it is, or for its discoverer, Carol the Swift?
> Fatty had been looking for frogs, but he had had no
> luck at all.
MIKE: The frogs’ early warning system was in good shape.
> To tell the truth, Fatty was a little too young to catch
> frogs easily, even when he found one;
TOM: Except for the one he grabbed last chapter.
MIKE: Hope somebody got fired for that blunder.
> and he was a good deal too fat,
> for he was so plump that he was not very spry.
MIKE: Also last week he ate the creek.
CROW: ‘Well, last week we had nacho cheese popcorn seasoning to sprinkle on it!’
> Now, Fatty was hiding behind some tall rushes, and his sharp
> little eyes were looking all about him, and his nose was twitching as
> he sniffed the air.
CROW: ‘Wawa has paninis? This changes everything!
> He wished he might find a frog. But not one frog
> appeared. Fatty began to think that some other coon must have visited
> the creek just before him and caught them all.
TOM: The lifeless pond can have only one explanation.
MIKE: Raccoons: nature’s own little neutron bombs.
> And then he forgot all
> about frogs.
> Yes! Frogs passed completely out of Fatty Coon’s mind. For
> whom should he spy but Mrs. Turtle!
CROW: What do you suppose her maiden name was?
TOM: Oh, she kept it when she married Dr Lesser Brown Bat.
> He saw her little black head
> first, bobbing along through the water of the creek. She was swimming
> toward the bank where Fatty was hidden.
MIKE: She loves the bank with its little chained pens and deposit slips.
> And pretty soon she pulled
> herself out of the water and waddled a short distance along the sand
> at the edge of the creek.
TOM: ‘Well, at least I don’t have to worry here about getting eaten by a raccoon!’
> Mrs. Turtle stopped then; and for a few minutes she was very
> busy about something. First she dug a hole in the sand.
TOM: [ Giggles nervously. ]
> And Fatty
> wondered what she was looking for. But he kept very quiet.
MIKE: Should we be watching this?
[ TOM, CROW look conspicuously away. ]
> And after a
> time Mrs. Turtle splashed into the creek again and paddled away. But
> before she left she scooped sand into the hole she had dug.
TOM: Oh dear, she *is*.
> Before she
> left the place she looked all around, as if to make sure that no one
> had seen her.
CROW: What was her plan if someone did see her at this point?
MIKE: Take the eggs back?
> And as she waddled slowly to the water Fatty could see
> that she was smiling as if she was very well pleased about something.
> She seemed to have a secret.
TOM: Quick, call in Garry Moore to help!
> Fatty Coon had grown very curious, as he watched Mrs. Turtle.
CROW: ‘I wonder if I can use this to become an even less pleasant person?’
> And just as soon as she was out of sight he came out from his hiding
> place in the tall reeds and trotted down to the edge of the creek. He
> went straight to the spot where Mrs. Turtle had dug the hole and
> filled it up again.
MIKE: Gotta say, Mrs Turtle does not come out looking good here.
TOM: Yeah, her scouting process could really use some scouting.
> And Fatty was so eager to know what she had been
> doing that he began to dig in the very spot where Mrs. Turtle had dug
> before him.
CROW: Mmm, turtle poop.
> It took Fatty Coon only about six seconds to discover Mrs.
> Turtle’s secret. For he did not have to paw away much of the sand
> before he came upon—what do you suppose? Eggs! Turtles’ eggs!
MIKE: No, she’s the last Galopagos Island Tortoise, it’s the only hope of avoiding extinction!
> Twenty-seven round, white eggs, which Mrs. Turtle had left there in
> the warm sand to hatch.
CROW: ‘Turtles are goshawks?’
> THAT was why she looked all around to make
> sure that no one saw her. THAT was why she seemed so pleased.
TOM: *That* was why Mrs Turtle wasn’t part of her Species Survival Plan.
> For Mrs.
> Turtle fully expected that after a time twenty-seven little turtles
> would hatch from those eggs—
TOM: Each egg.
> just as chickens do—
MIKE: Did kids in 1915 need eggs explained to them?
> and dig their way out
> of the sand.
CROW: Again, good job checking, Mrs Turtle.
> But it never happened that way at all.
MIKE: Fatty Coon cackles delighted at his schemes.
> For as soon as he got
> over his surprise at seeing them, Fatty Coon began at once to eat
> those twenty- seven eggs. They were delicious.
TOM: Do we know whether Arthur Scott Bailey *liked* his protagonist?
> And as he finished the
> last one he couldn’t help thinking how lucky he had been.
MIKE: Now we have nobody to foil the evil Shredder’s attacks!