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  • Writer's picturePatty Kramer


Beauty, also known as Mrs. Peacock, was the first suspect on the list. In her picture she was of course posing with her head cocked a bit to one side and smiling her gorgeous smile just for the camera. Her usually light-colored hair was covered in a monstrosity that hung down across her chest and resembled two or three clumps from a horse’s mane. Whiny said the hair was called a wig and that it was black with highlights of bright green.

What was scary were the eyes on that long dress that followed me wherever I moved in the room. Dozens of eyes clustered together instead of just two eyes like all the animals and two-legs had that I’d ever seen. Too dang many eyes that made me bark and whine and finally scoot as far as I could behind the Booga-man’s tall chair so they couldn’t stare at me anymore.

But even though Beauty’s costume was terrifying, and her smile was fake (this I remember because of the very annoyed scent she gave off when Whiny made her pose three different times for that one dad-blamed picture because her dress or her hair wasn’t in the exact place), I knew Beauty didn’t steal the Banana Man. She was the least likely of all the campers because she just couldn’t. Beauty doesn’t believe in foolishness!

Her world is either black or white, good or bad, and requires an answer of either yes or no. She would never, ever, take something that didn’t belong to her and hide it away. In other words Beauty was what Whiny would call a good dog as long as you didn’t try to take any food away from her.

Wait, no, that’s me, I’m confused. I’m the one you don’t dare try and take any food away from. Beauty is fine all the time as long as you don’t try to tease her. I mean she could EXPLODE if one of the other campers were to ask, “Beauty, did you hide Banana Dog?” I wouldn’t want to be in the same room with her if they did.

But Whiny said, just to be fair, we were going to have to search her room. Afterall Beauty AKA Mrs. Peacock, had excused herself as everyone was picking up their plates of food, saying she would be right back. She could have had Banana Dog stuck up under her horse’s mane, or tail, or wig, or whatever that thing was stuck on top of her head. And, come to think of it, I’m pretty sure that I saw one of those giant eyes on her long dress wink at me as Beauty left the dining room. Did it know something about the theft?

To be on the safe side, Whiny and I decided that just we two would search Beauty’s bedroom. And we would do so when she wasn’t at home. I shuddered, and so did Whiny, just to think how upset Beauty would be if she found us nosing around in her dresser drawers or peering under her bed. No way I wanted to get caught snooping in her frilly, girly domain as she’d swear I was trying to chew on something of hers.

Her room is so full of good stuff that it will take a long time to go through it all. Beauty has packs of soft stuffed animals just waiting for me to poke them with my nose, and pillows and blankets and lots of wonderful smelling shoes. Hanging in her closet are what she calls her church dresses with sashes that need very much to be adorned with an imprint of my tiny little sharp teeth so the whole congregation on Sunday will know she has a puppy. And she has lots of drawers and cubbyholes just perfect for me to stick my nose in and push the contents around and around like Whiny does when she’s stirring in her big shiny bowl. I personally can’t wait to search Beauty’s room.

Hmmm. I wonder if maybe I might find a free minute when Whiny is looking under the bed to have me a little nip or two of the long ribbons that trail off the three dead flowers hanging on Beauty’s wall. I dream about sinking my little sharp teeth in their long tresses and dragging them behind the Booga-man’s chair where only the dust balls can watch me tear them into a most impressive pile of shredded ribbon. Oh what fun that would be!

For now we will just have to play the waiting game. UGH. I am terrible at the waiting game. I hate the word stay! Beauty might not evacuate her room long enough for us to give it a good going over. Maybe I’ll just have to catch that always shut door open when she leaves it ajar for a tiny, tiny second. Then I’ll run inside and give it all a real good smell.

Using the Booga-mans favorite three words, the trouble is, Whiny, dang her, washed all the good smells off of the Banana Man. I fear my shiny clean yellow friend is going to be very hard to find.

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