The Dreaded “Racorebob” Monster

An angry raccoon. This image is from a Fox News story about a Florida couple who thought they were attacked by a bobcat, but after DNA analysis, it turned out to be a raccoon.

In his “Recollections of L. E. Potter,” my great-grandfather Laforest, who was a young settler in Minnesota tells a cute story that I didn’t have time to include in an earlier post about him.

The year was 1865. The family of 12 had moved from Wisconsin to Minnesota, settling for a time on the banks of the Watonwan River a few miles south of Madelia. One spring day, Laforest’s father John was mowing hay with a scythe about 80 rods from the house they were renting. Laforest writes (edited for clarity):


I was sent to take him a drink of water, also a watermelon. We got our water from a spring on the riverbank back from the house. I took my pail and melon to the top of the bank or bluff, laid the melon down by the side of the path and went down the path through the brush after the water. When coming back up the bluff, I heard something going through the bushes straight down to the river. This was rather startling to an eight-year-old.

Laforest Potter in his later years.

When I got to the top of the bluff and my melon was gone, boy-fashion, I did not stop to reason, but let my imagination run wild. I thought some animal had carried it off and that was what I heard going through the bushes.

I took the water to father and told him about the melon and the animal that carried it off. The more I talked about it, the better my imagination worked until I could tell what the animal looked like – what color he was, bigger than a dog. In my mind it was something terrible!

Father asked what I thought it was. I couldn’t tell him. So, he said he thought it must be a Racorebob.

Father told folks about my Racorebob for years after. Whenever my imagination would get the best of reason, I was reminded about my Racorebob. I believe it has always had a good effect on my life.

Father found the melon at the foot of the bluff, smashed against a tree. Somehow, it had started rolling down the bluff and that was what I heard.


(Marie here – I’m not sure what the word amalgam Racorebob means. Laforest never explained it, but my guess would be a “raccoon or bobcat?” Any other interpretations are welcome!)

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