The title of my 1994 booklet Low Probability of Racoons derives from a poem I wrote, a parody of Inventaire by Jacques Prévert, or rather of a translation of that poem. My parody, plus this extract from Prévert's original, should make everything clear...

      une minute de silence
      une seconde d'inattention

      cinq our six raton laveurs

C'est la Guerre

A man procures
An infinite number of word processors,
A similar quantity of racoons.
He gives a word-processor
To each of the racoons,
Lights a cigar
And waits.
He is disappointed:
The racoons do not type
An English translation of Jacques Prévert's Paroles.
They wash
The word-processors
Before attempting to eat them.
This is beneficial
Neither to the word-processors,
Nor to the racoons.
The man attempts to pay off
His enormous electricity bill
By selling
Racoon-skin hats.

© Peter Howard

from Low Probability of Racoons