The Bad Ones: an Allegory of the Salem Witch Trials

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The Bad Ones
An Allegory of the Salem Witch Trials

The raccoon crawled slowly, limping on one leg, his eyes deranged and blood-shot. Even though he was frightening to look at, the raccoon was guilty of nothing other than having a bad case of rabies. A young squirrel, ignorant to the fact that the raccoon was rabid, immediately told his family, who immediately told their friends, who told their cousins, who engulfed the whole forest in the viral rumor that the raccoon was a Bad One. The Bad Ones now threatened the sanity of a wooded area that was once as serene, beautiful, and close to Heaven as a bunch of trees could possibly get.

“Did you hear! The raccoon is a Bad One!”
“He was acting so strangely the other day.”
“Well, we can’t just sit around and do nothing! There could be others lurking among us!”
“It could be anyone…oh, what will we do!”
“Something has to be done.”
The raccoon was the first animal executed in the Trials of 1692.
During the execution, a strange gray bird circled in the sky above them. He looked exasperated and outraged, as if he knew exactly what was happening and how ridiculous it was.
The turtle was guilty of nothing other than being a bit grouchy. Her husband died years ago, and she liked to stay home all day and cook and sing her emotions. But with everything that was going on, no one could be sure of anything. How could anyone be POSITIVE that she was just cooking soup? How could anyone be POSITIVE that she was just singing songs, and not chanting wicked things?

A week after the raccoon’s death, the turtle was accused of being a Bad One.
Bad Ones could not be crushed. Whether it was because they used spells and incantations or because they were protected by the devil, everyone agreed that it was physically impossible for a Bad One to be smashed and killed by rocks.

“The turtle must be pressed!” spoke the badger. “We will place rocks on her, one by one, and see if the demon is crushed or not!”
And that they...
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