by Chris Eboch
Enjoy this fun little never before published short story.
A Persian slinked into my office. She looked at me with big blue eyes. “I hear you solve problems,” she purred.
“What’s the trouble, kitten?” I asked.
“I’ve lost my mittens,” she yowled.
I hate to see a dame cry. “I’m on the case.”
“But I heard something through the grapevine,” Three said. “Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep.”
Missing sheep. Missing mittens. Wool. I had a clue.
I followed up. B.B. Black Sheep sure looked like a crime victim. “Someone steal your wool?” I asked.
“Bah!” he said. “It’s in those three bags right there. I just got a haircut.”
Little Boy Blue was fast asleep. Anyone could have stolen his sheep, but she was right there in the meadow.
And Mary’s little lamb was sitting under her school desk, chewing on a pencil.
I did find a small pair of pants in Mr. McGregor’s garden. But I wasn’t looking for pants.
And then Little Bo Peep’s sheep came home, all on their own. Maybe I was wrong about the wool connection.
They had some pretty tough characters over in Fairytale Land. A surprising number of witches and evil stepmothers. A snotty gang of billy goats who keep harassing the poor troll under the bridge. A big, bad wolf known for intimidation and cross-dressing. And that cute blonde kid who got busted for breaking and entering at the Bears’ house. But I never heard of them working this side of the tracks. And The Knave of Hearts was still in jail for assault and buttering.
I was getting nowhere fast. The little dog laughed to see such a sight. I’d like to give him a knick, knack, paddy whack.
“Oh Sam,” Kitty wailed. “It’s hopeless.”
I said, “Hush, little baby, don’t say a word. I’m not done yet.”
I considered my informants. Humpty Dumpty used to know everything, but he had cracked. Jack was still in bed after the so-called accident on the Hill. I was running out of leads.
The hair went up on Kitty’s back. “My sister, Pussycat. Pussycat, where have you been?”
The fine feline stopped in front of us. “I’ve been to London to visit the Queen.”
“London, my tail!” Kitty hissed in my ear. “She’s probably been running around with that owl.”
I detected a case of feline rivalry. That gave me an idea.
I edged closer to Pussycat. “You have such lovely long fur,” I murmured. “Is it as silky as it looks?”
Kitty steamed. Pussycat purred and ran a paw over her cheek. I noticed a suspicious bulge below her jeweled collar.
“Why, it looks long enough—,” My paw shot out. “To hide a pair of mittens!”
Pussycat started to cry. “I only borrowed them! I lost my mittens. I had to visit Mother, and you know how she gets about lost mittens.”
Kitty sighed. “You could have asked.”
“I didn’t want you to tease me,” Pussycat said. “Anyway, it turned out all right. You met this handsome tomcat.”
“The name’s Sam, not Tom,” I said. “Come on; let’s go to Miss M’s Tuffet Club. I’ll buy you ladies a saucer of curds and whey.”
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