Funniest Moments in “Dear Ranger Rick” History

Kids say the darndest things. Especially in Ranger Rick magazine, where kids have been writing in to their favorite raccoon since the first “Dear Ranger Rick” column appeared in November 1968. From thoughtful poems to imaginative drawings to hilarious stories, “Dear Ranger Rick” has always been an entertaining peek into the mind of our young readers. For your enjoyment, we pored over hundreds of columns and picked out some of the best moments from the past 45 years.

1. Bullfrog Photo, April 1971

You can’t help but laugh when you see this photo. If the caption didn’t tell us that the bullfrog made it back to the pond, I would have been slightly concerned that this maniacally happy child accidentally ripped it in half.

Dear Ranger Rick column from April 1971

2. “Ranger Rick Rash,” June 1977

So I don’t have poison ivy? Just the Ranger Rick Rash? What a relief!

Dear Ranger Rick column from June 1977

3. “Death to Ice Cream Trucks,” March 1981

I was on board with these Rangers until this: “Ice cream trucks aren’t really necessary.” Yes, you can keep ice cream in your freezer, but is there anything that compares to the thrill of hearing the tinny tune of the truck, then frantically grabbing change and racing out to meet it? Also, does the ice cream you keep in your freezer have a face with bubble gum for eyeballs? I didn’t think so.

Dear Ranger Rick column from March 1981

4. “Octopig,” March 1982

Maybe this was cute in 1982, but the years haven’t been kind to Octopig. This creature will haunt my dreams. It doesn’t help that it reminds me of that spider-doll mutant created by the sadistic Sid in Toy Story.

Dear Ranger Rick Column from March 1982

5. “It’s Your Rep, Rick,” August 1996

Kids were sassy in the 90s! (Still are, I know.) Poor Ranger Rick…he never claimed to be a fashion plate!

Dear Ranger Rick column from August 1996

6. “Monkey Business,” October 1997

Man, that is one bitter monkey. Okay, so Grandma shouldn’t have fed that peanut shell to the monkey. But did she really deserve to get peed on? On second thought, if someone offered me a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and it turned out to be an empty wrapper, there’s no telling how I would react.

Dear Ranger Rick column from October 1997

7. “Dinosaur Tales,” March 1998

For this column, the magazine asked kids, “What would happen if you found a live dinosaur?” I love that this reader would use her dinosaur as a bargaining chip to make her family be less annoying. I can just see her saying to her brother, “If you let me watch my TV show, you can play with Claw for a whole 20 minutes!”

Dear Ranger Rick column from March 1998

8. “Butterfly Feet,” September 1998

For this column, Ranger Rick asked, “What would happen if, just like a butterfly, you could taste with your feet?” Leave it to kids to think of the grossest possible scenario, like stepping on dog poop! But I like that Janet draws the line at stepping in her parents’ food, yet has no qualms about stinking up her brother’s meal. Sounds about right.

Dear Ranger Rick column from September 1998

9. “Porcupine Woes,” January 1999

This column featured answers to the question, “What would it be like if YOU were a porcupine?” Picturing a sad porcupine floating down a river in an inner tube that is slowly deflating is simultaneously hilarious and tragic. I’m glad I’m not a porcupine too, Jason. Seems like a lonely life.

Dear Ranger Rick column from January 1999

10. “Weird Food,” October 2000

This Tessa may be a little harsh, but she could be onto something. If you get hungry during gym class, you could just nibble on one of the bricks!

Dear Ranger Rick column from October 2000

11. “Dear World,” July 1995

If only adults could be as optimistic and idealistic about the world as children are. Reading these kids’ hopes for the Earth is a refreshing reminder of how important is it to protect the environment for future generations, and how simple it could be if we all worked together.

Dear Ranger Rick column from July 1995

To see more letters and drawings from our readers, visit our Dear Ranger Rick blog.