Grand Canyon, AZ
Judge L. Beagle today released the California trio who in recent days have
become known as the "Canyon Vole Three." Arrested for operating
an illegal concession and accused of frightening Grand Canyon visitors with
stories of marauding voles, the three refused reporters' requests for interviews,
referring questioners to their lawyer: Jeffery Fawn of Grovel, Slither,
Kowtow, & Fawn.
Mr. Fawn, who arrived from the companies legal headquarters in Santa Monica, CA caused an enormous stir a few days ago when he arrived to defend the group. Not ten minutes after his red Volare appeared in front of the courthouse, he had given an interview to station KCYN accusing the government of attempting to silence his clients and "cover up" stories of unusual animal behavior. Alluding to a "secret genetic research center" in nearby Tuba City, Fawn claimed that "radioactively altered" voles had been accidentally released into the wilds and that these mutant rodents had been crossbreeding with the indigenous Canyon Voles with "disastrous consequences."
Word of the alleged government conspiracy spread quickly, and anti-nuclear activists and animal rights protesters held a candlelight vigil at the courthouse that evening. The Rev. Jesse Jackson broke off a speaking engagement in Phoenix to rally the protesters with his usual fiery rhetoric. After his speech he led the group in song, from the time-honored "We Shall Overcome," to the more pertinent "When The Vole Is Called Up Yonder."
Inside the courthouse, however, a more decorous atmosphere apparently prevailed. Presiding over a closed hearing, Judge Beagle listened to arguments relating to the charges from Fawn and David Arbrevert, county prosecutor. Fawn successfully argued that the charges should be dismissed. Transcripts indicate that there were two main factors that swayed the judge.
Fawn produced evidence showing that none of the so-called "scare literature" that the trio had in their possession were original documents. Xerographic analysis showed that all were second or third generation copies. Arbrevert insisted that this merely implied the existence of a shadowy "fourth conspirator," but Judge Beagle ruled that to be merely circumstantial.
The other argument that scored points with the judge was that the trio had truly believed the documents they had in their possession, and were merely acting on "solid American entrepreneurial instincts." As evidence, Fawn submitted samples of the product "NoVole," which Judge Beagle agreed was "truly repellant," and preliminary sketches of "The Vole Earth Catalog," which Fawn claimed was proof that his clients intended a whole line of products.
The three defendants were released immediately after the hearing. The only sentiment they expressed publicly was one of gratitude to the county sheriff for not feeding them meals that had been freeze dried.
After the trio departed, the hoopla outside the courthouse dissipated as well, leaving most local residents with a dim view of legal shenanigans and outside activists.
Park Service rangers continue to deny accounts of aggressive behavior by the Speckled Canyon Vole and discount stories of cover-up. Claiming the entire episode was blown out of proportion, they even discounted the effectiveness of the "NoVole" product that had caused such a stink. One ranger sniffed, "it really doesn't smell very different from any hiker who's been in the Canyon for a week without a shower."