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  • Writer's picturePatty Kramer

Theft of the Yellow Fellow Chapter Two

It was on the stroke of ten o’clock on a hot, dark August night when I discovered my yellow squeaky Banana Dog was missing. Searching every room with my magnificent nose that can find the slightest trace of food beneath the dining room table no matter how many times Whiny vacuums, it became perfectly clear that someone had removed BD from the premises. The last thing I remember that involved Banana Dog was dropping him on the kitchen floor, abandoning him because lunch had been declared ready and the food was being removed from the hot box.

I stood patiently by as Whiny ran a zipper very fast across the top of the cheesy things and tossed hot slices onto paper plates. My mouth was watering as the six campers grabbed a plate and resumed their places at the dining room table causing the macaroni art pieces that weren’t glued to paper to roll here-and-there, some even ending up on the floor with me.

Scampering to grab the crunchy macaroni pieces before the two-legs could retrieve them, and with my nose full of delightful aromas that made me practically swoon with the anticipation of possibly stealing one of the soon to be discarded paper plates and licking it until a hole was chewed through its center, I forgot entirely about Banana Dog. While I was thus distracted, the sneaky thief must have done his dirty deed.

We now had three items listed on the Whodunit case file that Whiny had started; the date of the theft which was the last day of our Camp of Two Wishes, the location which was in the kitchen by the dishwasher, and the motive of which I disagreed. I’d like to put the blame on Whiny and claim that the thief was driven to madness and subsequent thievery because Banana Dog was now all shiny clean. Enraged, the thief wanted to throw Boring Banana Dog’s smell-less body far, far away.

But my paws are useless around a pen, unless it is to hold it down and chew it into very small and very messy inky pieces and I could not get Whiny to understand her error by pawing on her leg when she was writing. So she wrongly wrote down that Buttons Galore had been annoying all in attendance by making continuous and very annoying pig squealing noises with Banana Dog.

Next Whiny began to recite the name of the suspects in what she had labeled Theft of the Yellow Fellow, listing them from oldest to youngest: Beauty, My Boy, Dill, Pill, My Girl and Noisy. Which meant if you didn’t include Whiny, Fred or me, there were six suspects.

The last thing Whiny said we needed to add to the case file for the missing Banana Dog was a motto. It would give us encouragement to fight the good fight until we found the missing toy. She came up with: “We shall look high and low, in corners and closets, under beds, and in all the cabinets. Not stopping until our friend, Banana Dog, is returned to us.”

I thought that was a lot of words even for a two-legs to chant. Why couldn’t we just say; “Find the damn dog!” After all, Whiny said those exact four words at least once a day when instructing the campers to search for me when I didn’t appear the second she called.

Whiny said we needed to build a case file board. She hunted up the pictures we had taken the very last day during the Camp of Two Wishes and taped them to a large piece of cardboard that she propped up on the table on the writing porch. The campers were all dressed as different Clue characters as they had been practicing for their annual skit. With a big black marker she drew a line below each picture and wrote the suspects name and the letters AKA with their Clue character name beside it.

It was all quite confusing for me, as the only real schooling I’ve had in the alphabet was the day I chewed up five or six magnetic letters that had fallen off the cold box and had been lost beneath its edge since time began. But Whiny had a habit of saying aloud whatever she wrote down so my knowing how to read wasn’t really necessary.

I could tell that Whiny was really getting into this. Ever since she’d finished writing Blue Buttons and red tomatoes, her first mystery novel, she’d been talking like the detectives do on the black box when she turns it on during the day. She was always presenting me with new words like suspect, or guilty, or my favorite; whodunit, because I liked the way it hopped off her tongue like a grasshopper skittering across the courtyard.

With marker in hand she stood erect as if addressing a room full of detectives and declared: All the six attendees at Camp of Two Wishes are suspects until one is proven guilty. It is our job, Miss Buttons Galore, to figure out the Whodunit. (I was so excited my tail wagged even though I didn’t have one!)

Whiny’s speech had been so forceful that it used up all the energy we two had for the morning. With coffee cup in hand and a bag of good-dog treats for me, we took a break from the writing porch. Walking through the crime scene to get to the front courtyard, Whiny let her eyes search from ceiling to floor, even stopping long enough to peer behind the cold box. I let my multi-talented nose sniff all four corners and under the edge of the island, running a quick loop around it so I could check all four sides. Nope, no Banana Dog.

Glancing up at Whiny I could see that she, too, had tears in her eyes. We were both upset over the loss of our yellow friend, regretting the many times we had accidentally stepped upon his long banana shaped body or kicked him out of our path. I was mostly regretting the loud chorus of piggy squeals that I had continuously produced from the insides of Banana Dog, the noise that had started the thief thinking of a way to be rid of my toy.

Remorse was another word Whiny had been using a lot lately. At first, I thought she was saying remouse, which I took to mean that you tried to pump life back into a mouse after Shere Khan had finally batted it to death. Now that I was experiencing the pain of rethinking my last minutes with Banana Dog, I understood what remorse meant; it was wishing you could back up through the doggie-door and reenter the morning.

For my part, it would be giving only love pats to the shiny clean Banana Dog, keeping him quiet so the would-be thief wouldn’t have a motive to steal him away. Oh, if I could, I would run backwards through that door!

We would solve this crime, me and Whiny! Barking up into her face, I yapped the only thing that could possibly make us feel any better; ice cream! My partner in solving the crime agreed, and we spent some absolutely fabulous minutes in the courtyard eating it.

A rainstorm had left me enough puddles to roll around in and I was happy, happy, happy! Whiny became overjoyed herself at what she called a rainbow in the sky, although I really couldn’t pick out what it was she was pointing toward.

She told me about a man named Noah who lived with lots and lots of animals inside this house that could float like a leaf does in my big pan of dog water. She explained that Noah grew tired of all the rain that came down and that finally God gave him dry land so that he could unpen all those animals. Then God painted a rainbow in the sky that was meant to be a promise of good times to come.

I was a bit confused because I kept thinking of how great it would have been to run around under all those animal’s legs and smell all the smells and sample all their food. But I also knew how terrible it felt to be penned-up so I was glad they were able to escape and walk on grass again.

Whiny said God might have painted that rainbow over Wish Island just for us, and that we should take it as a sign that one day soon we would share an ice cream with Banana Dog. I got so excited over her last words that I shed a little squirt of happy pee right on Whiny’s left sandal. But she didn’t fuss much. I could tell she was wanting to do the happy pee dance herself

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