CRESTVIEW — A question posted on Answers.com raised questions in Michael Skinner's mind, especially when he suspected the "correct" answer didn't seem so correct.
The 10-year-old turned to a more authoritative source than the questions-and-answers website's user-generated content.
He wrote to the "Ask Shagg" comic strip.
"It was just curiosity" that inspired him to ask the shaggy yellow cartoon dog, he said.
Michael's mom, Deanna Skinner, said the boy sent his question in August and received an email stating the answer would run in late fall. It was published in the Northwest Florida Daily News' Dec. 8 edition.
"He was so shocked," Deanna said. "He was extremely surprised and happy..."
Michael never doubted that Shagg E. Dawg creator Peter Guren would use his question, which was, "Is it true that a raccoon cannot jump?" It was just a matter of time.
"I believed that he would answer it," Michael said. "It's finally in there!"
Guren, who said he receives questions from readers all over the country, said Michael's query caught his eye.
"Basically, I (didn't) know if raccoons can jump," he said. "It was a question I wanted an answer to, too. That's usually how it happens."
Michael, who received a stuffed Shagg E. Dawg for having his question published, added the plush pooch to his collection of 44 stuffed critters.
Homeschooled brothers Michael and Jimmy, 14, now have 61 stuffed animals, collectively.
When Michael's not studying or playing with the toys, he builds things with Lego blocks and plays with Transformers.
And yes, Shagg E. replied, "a raccoon can jump, especially when someone is threatening."