Mythological Beast Haunts Township Park. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Lukas Pederson   
Wednesday, 06 May 2009 05:00
5/06/09 by Lukas Pederson
Mythological Beast Haunts Township Park.

The weather has broken and the fog has lifted. Bats have been dusted off, cleats de-turded, and balls (wiffle balls, that is) have been removed from the collective asses of our closets and trunks. But along with the birth of the 2009 KWL Wiffle Ball season comes the resurfacing of an age-old legend: .  

The Legend of the Flescher Field Mangoose. Believers and skeptics alike, everyone seems to have something to share about this timeless tale. As just a sophomore wiffler, myself, and a fan of the controversial tales of the Loch Ness Monster, Sasquatch, and El Chupacabra, my curiosity has been stroked and the exploring has ensued.

First reports of a hulking half-man, half-goose date back to early 2006, but speculation continues that the Mangoose has been dwelling in the forests of Township Park much further in history, maybe as far back as December, 2005. Now, I know what you’re thinking: if this storied beast lives in the forests of Township Park, why is it called the Flescher Field Mangoose? Well, in my travels, I have quickly learned the simple truth: it’s just a catchier name. And as we all know, one of the most important parts of life is effectively attracting pop-culture attention. Obviously, this creature has celebrity aspirations.

Accounts of this mythical beast span a vast range of possibilities.  It is said to stand upwards of 7 feet tall, somehow still managing to retain its stealth, having been seen only a handful of times and allegedly photographed only once (at left). This abomination is also rumored to boast four-inch fangs of double-layered yellow plastic that protrude ominously from its beak. Attention was first attracted when deep blasts from the blazing bats of mighty men seemed to mysteriously disappear beyond Townships left-field fences. Chewed and mangled balls that appear to have come from the depths of hell have begun to turn up unexpectedly since those first reports,
suggesting that the Mangoose may be sucking the souls out of the balls much as Johnny Bluejeans’s fiancee seems to suck the soul out of him. The beast is also said to feed on the despair of pitchers, themselves; despair that has seeped onto their errant pitches that have since left the yard. Still others say that the Mangoose exists partially in another dimension, traveling between our world and another by means of astral projection. According to further lore, the twisted man-beast can both bat and throw with either hand and has unparalleled quickness in the outfield. Still, its poor sportsmanship has landed it with no team and, maybe worse, with people questioning it’s very existence. No matter which version you may have heard, the debate rages on. Is this creature merely a product of our overactive imaginations, or a real-life manifestation of our darkest wiffle nightmares? 

While modern genetics, practical science, every-day common sense, and all known logic combat the existence of a man-goose hybrid, locals insist there is substance to this legend. KWL mainstay and current Lemons pitcher Mike Raber (at right) has been tracking the Flescher Field Mangoose for years, mainly using his extensive fecal knowledge. “I’ve been studying the Mangoose’s feces for some time now,” explains Raber. “I’ve tasted... er... studied countless types of animal droppings and let me tell you, the solid waste I’ve seen behind that fence is like nothing else I’ve ever come accross.” Raber goes on to cite what seem to be wiffle ball fragments in the Mangoose’s alleged poo along with “just a funny feeling I have” as further evidence of the beast’s presence in the Township forest. Raber is not the only KWL player who has had run-ins with the Mangoose. Just last week, Snowsuit and the Icy Road pitcher Matt Jennings, after attempting to collect a home-run ball from the depths of the Township woods, came running out of the shrubbery with his pants around his ankles screaming and pelvic thrusting all the way before collapsing in an unconscious heap against the left field flag pole. As many of us have come to understand, this is an all-too typical reaction to a Flescher Field Mongoose encounter

Not only are civilians concerned about the Mangoose’s prowling, but Oshtemo’s own fearless fire chief, Mark Barnes (at left, btw Nice Ax!) has had his share of experience dealing with fallout from the strange creature’s terror. “We started receiving calls reporting strange things in those woods years ago. I’ve fielded complaints of barking, howling, chewed-up sticks, and rustling leaves; basically I’ve heard it all,” Barnes says. “I don’t know who or what is living in those woods, but I do know this: only you can prevent forest fires.” As you can see, Barnes may not be the most incisive goose in the gaggle, but his accounts cannot be ignored.  

Despite the orgy of evidence, alleged first-hand accounts, and Raber’s fecal findings, skeptics remain. There are those who cite the “scientific method” and “hard physical evidence” as lacking in the quest to prove the existence of the Flescher Field Mangoose. Kalamazoo native and American Idol contestant Matt Giraud (not pictured) calls this all (including the photo evidence) an elaborate hoax started by KWL sensationalists trying desperately to attract newsworthy attention. “Everything from the barking and pooping to the chewed up balls could be explained by common house-hold canines walking through the park with their owners,” claims Giraud. Come on, Matt, seriously?... A dog chewing on a wiffle ball, barking, and defecating in the woods? Now who’s the sensationalist?

Whatever the truth, it is increasingly apparent that there is something going on beyond the outfield fences of Township Park. Is it merely the everyday activities of league commissioner Brian Meyers’s portly pet Miniature Pincher (at right)? Or is there a fanged and ferocious half-man, half-goose travelling between our dimension and the next, and taking wiffle balls to a land where no mere man has dared to venture? As for Matt Giraud, well, he didn’t even make it to duet week.

 
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