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  • Writer's pictureAlicia Dill

The case of the missing poodle - Winston, Part 2

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

Kenny lost interest in the conversation as Larry started arranging the bones in the further corner of the yard while the various bird armies looked on. And then he heard a clicking sound that made him shudder. The squirrels were back. At least one squirrel in particular.

“Kenny! Get him out of here,” Larry barked.

Kenny barked. Larry barked. Both looked up on the telephone wire looping through the biggest tree in the yard. They barked for fifteen minutes before the lady of the house yelled out the window.

“Shut up, you two! I’m trying to sleep.”

Kenny and Larry kept barking. Simon the squirrel was playing with them. Jumping from tree to tree and sticking his tongue out. This was serious and all their instincts told them to keep barking.

Finally, after a good hour or so, Simon the squirrel relented and teased them one last time.

“I heard you boys were looking for Winston. I bet you haven’t heard the latest news.”

Kenny jumped on a lawn chair. He was upset. Simon always started conflict whenever he was around, and it went beyond the yard games of hide and seek.

“Listen, Simon. This is important. A dog is missing,” Larry said. “Maybe you don’t care about it, but we do.”

“I do care. Winston always took care of us squirrels. He made sure we had a nut hiding place for tough winters,” Simon said, holding onto a giant acorn while he spoke.

“If you like him so much, why are you over here starting a fight with us?” Kenny asked.

“Well, I had to wait anyways because Otis isn’t going to be back for at least another hour,” Simon said. “My message to you two is that Otis knows something. She told Buddy, the Corgi off Mount Vernon Road to meet her at Erskine in one hour.”

“But there is no way we are getting out of here, Simon. Our humans are having a party,” Larry said.

“Figure something out because I’m going for sure. Everyone needs to help find Winston.”

Kenny sat down and rested his head. What Simon just said sank in and it made him sad. How could Larry and Kenny get to the park to see Otis?

Simon started eating his acorn.

“There is another way. But it will cost you.”

Larry looked up and met Simon’s eyes.

“What do you mean?”

“What if I told Otis to come over after the meeting and fill you in. I mean, she does live at the house near your backyard and she has to make an appearance sometime.”

Larry and Kenny met each other’s eyes. Simon’s idea could work.

“What will it take?” Kenny asked.

Simon dropped the remnants of his acorn.

“You’re going to have steal me something big...and I mean big?”

“We don’t like stealing around here,” Larry answered.

“Oh really, well, I’m not a nice squirrel. I am a sneaky one so I gotta make it worth my while. It takes a lot of energy, jumping from here to the school. And I could get electrocuted on the line or ran over by a car...danger is all around, my friends.”

Larry and Kenny considered his offer for a moment.

“What do you want?”

The squirrel jumped down to the side of the tree and met their eyes.

“I need the whole jar of peanut butter I saw your human girl eating on the swing. And I need it before I do the deed.”

Kenny answered, “I don’t know how but we’ll do it. I can’t understand what you will do with it. They screw the lid on pretty tight and I can’t get it open.”

Simon turned his head, fast even for a squirrel.

“You dogs are idiots. Do you see these tiny hands? I was made to open peanut butter jars.”

Kenny and Larry made a plan to retrieve the peanut butter. A full jar just opened with a Jiffy label on it. Something that was like pure gold for any nut loving animal.

Operation Peanut Butter was in progress the moment the human boy let Kenny into the kitchen. The boy left the cabinet open when he was digging for chips and Kenny was able to knock the jar out of the cabinet.

“What was that sound?” The man of the house asked.

The boy answered. “Nothing. It wasn’t me.”

“I bet it was.” The man said. “You are not going to eat chips all day either. You have to eat your supper tonight.”

Kenny used the conversation as a distraction to roll the jar out of the kitchen and into the sunroom. Larry was waiting for Kenny as it was impossible for him to be on the hardwood floors of the kitchen.

Once in the sunroom, Larry rolled the jar into a sand bucket used by the kids. He dragged the handle close to the door and started whining. Once the boy came to let Larry outside, Kenny charged the door kicking the bucket outside filled with the peanut butter jar.

And just like that, they were home free.

The squirrel jumped down and inspected the jar. Simon carefully unscrewed the lid and sampled the contents of the creamy confection.

“Yummy! Just what I needed,” he said. “I will see you two after the meeting. Winston is as good as found.”

Kenny and Larry high-fived each other. Mission accomplished. For now.


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