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    I've scoured the web for stories about "the box" and really found only these few. While you already know how the story goes, it's fun to see the different takes on them.

    I've brought them all together here for your reading pleasure, with links back to the original sites.

You can use Ctrl+ and Ctrl- to adjust the font size for best reading (use Ctrl zero to reset.)

P.S.  Do you have a mongoose box story?  Click here and I'll add it to this page!





From: Jim Foreman Stories

The Mongoose Cage
    Soaring seems to attract an eclectic bunch of people and one of the more memorable was Mahlon Weir.   He'd usually show up at a soaring contest with some new and unusual attraction, game or scam.

    He brought along his mongoose cage to a contest at Hutchinson, Kansas.   It was a cage with a divider with a doorway in the center of it and some fur could be seen through the door.

    The trick was to get someone interested in his story about how vicious the mongoose was and how it was so fast that it could kill snakes.  Once he got his mark hooked, he would trip a hidden latch, the top would fly open and toss a piece of fur at whoever was in front of it.

    One evening some of the people told him that they had a new victim for his mongoose cage. They brought a fellow with gray hair to see his mongoose.  Mahlon had
never seen him before but jumped at the chance of a new victim.

    He went through his spiel then said he'd shake the cage to get the mongoose to come out where he could see it.  The mark was bent over in front of the cage waiting for the mongoose to come out when Mahlon tripped the latch and the piece of fur flew out into the guy's face.

    He staggered back, grabbed his chest and flopped down on the floor.  Two of the spectators, who just happened to be doctors, rushed to his side.  They felt his pulse, pounded on his chest and put an ear against his chest.  Then they looked up at Mahlon and said, "He's dead!"

    Mahlon's face went ash white and a few seconds later, everyone began to laugh as the guy on the ground sat up.  Mahlon had been scammed by his own trick.  He put the mongoose cage away and it was never seen again.



From: Physics Forum - posted by Ivan Seeking
When I was about 12 year of age we had a neighbor who came by one day with a large cage that contained an "Australian Mongoose."

The cage had two sections; One section had a wood frame covered with heavy gauge screen, and the other was completely enclosed and made of plywood. We couldn't see the entire animal but the tail was visible as the mongoose slept in the enclosed section.

Deep scratches, at least 1/4" deep, were visible all over the wood cage. Chicken bones were seen broken and splintered and lying all over the cage. He said that he fed it whole chickens.

This thing was so fast and so dangerous that if it were to get out we might all be mauled within seconds. It kills so
many people each year in Australia...and on and on until, just when he had us convinced this was the most dangerous animal known to man, the top of the cage flew open and the thing came right at me and hit me in the chest.

We were standing in the garage at the time. I was literally on top of the washing machine and heading for the rafters before I realized that nothing was attacking me.

The phony fox tail was lying on the floor. The spring loaded trap door of the cage had a hook attached that threw the tail when a secret latch was released. My dad told me later that he really thought I was dead. I really did as well.



From: Expeience Project- Posted by traveler
    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.



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