London helps a Veterinarian, Dr Edmunds, trap a rabid raccoon before it infects anyone or anything else. He entices it onto a raft and sets it adrift onto the lake, but before he can get Edmunds to the scene, the raft drifts ashore and the raccoon disapears into the woods. Edmunds continues her search, assisted by two local farmhands while London goes off alone and tracks the raccoon to town. Edmunds plans to tranquilize London the next time they see him, to test him for rabies. She and the farmhands go to town to issue a public warning about the raccoon, and they spot London. London avoids their tranquillizer darts to continue on the raccoon’s trail. He finds it in a yard where a boy and girl are playing. He lures the raccoon onto the kid’s playhouse and traps it inside. The boy explains to Edmunds how London trapped the raccoon, which is humanely destroyed, and London is tested, declared uncontaminated, and released from Edmunds’ care.
I sold a story idea to the producers of The Littlest Hobo and wrote the Rabies episode, inspiration for the short story Scooter which appears in 5 Fables for the Young at Heart.
The episode was about London in a battle of wits against a rabid raccoon. Shortly before the episode was to be shot, the production office called to say that they had made major changes to the script and asked if I wanted my name removed. The changes were devastating to the story dynamic, but the dog’s owner didn’t want London trying to get another animal killed, however dangerous the animal might be to others. It weakened the drama but he owned the dog. I maintained the credit but was disappointed in the show. The idea percolated in my mind and became the story of Scooter, a different dog, but a hero nonetheless.