Sheriff Teddy and the Mysterious Egg Thieves
Written by: Jason G. McKinney
This book is dedicated to Tabitha’s faithful law dog and law cat: the original Sheriff Teddy and Deputy Puffy.
On a little farm in Nebraska, there was an old albino German Shepard named Teddy, an orange and white fluffy cat named Puffy and a big, anxious eleven month old brown puppy named Brownie. Teddy was the farmyard sheriff with Puffy and Brownie as his faithful deputies. They loved their jobs as much as they loved their farm.
The farm animals were very grateful for Teddy and his deputies because they kept trouble out of the farmyard and helped the animals solve any problems they couldn’t solve themselves. Anytime the animals had a problem with one another or trouble came from the surrounding area, the law dogs and law cat were there. Most farmyard problems were cleared up the same day, but one day the farm had more trouble than the sheriff and his two deputies could fix quickly.
Thieves in the Night
Late one spring night someone took the chicken’s eggs and it wasn’t the farmer. “Well, gee wilickers!” the farmer exclaimed the next morning as he went through the henhouse to gather eggs. “Where are all the eggs?”
The farmer exclamation brought Sheriff Teddy, Deputy Puffy and Deputy Brownie to the henhouse at a run. Deputy Puffy immediately started nosing around the chicken’s house while Deputy Brownie happily jumped everywhere with his stumpy brown tail wagging. In the meanwhile, Sheriff Teddy sat down next to farmer and began to question the chickens.
“Good morning, Hettie,” Sheriff Teddy said to Hettie Hen.
“Morning, Sheriff,” said Hettie, who was the henhouse leader and the oldest chicken on the farm.
“It seems you got a spot of trouble.
“More heartbreaking trouble than we want, Sheriff,” Hettie sobbed loudly. “Someone came in to our home and stole all of our eggs we had laid while we slept. How could they have done this?” She paused to blow her beak and wipe her tears away. “How could they have come in, steal our eggs and us not hear them. Our eggs were stolen right out from under us, Sheriff! While we slept!”
Teddy nuzzled Hettie with his muzzle. “There, there love,” Teddy said, “We’re here now and we’ll get this taken care of.
Teddy made sure that Hettie had stopped crying and calmed down before he resumed his questioning.
“Hettie, have you happened to notice any animal not from the farm lurking about in the past few days?
“No, Sheriff. I haven’t seen any strange or new animals about.” Hettie paused a moment to peck at the ground.
“What about any of the local animals here on the farm? Have you seen any of them lurking about suspiciously?”
“The only visitor we got recently was the farmer,” cried Hettie. “Please get my eggs back, Sheriff. The farmer was going to let me keep them so we I could have some chicks.” With that, Hettie started to cry again, which came out as loud clucking to the farmer.
“Hmmm. Thanks for your help, Hettie,” Teddy said sincerely. “We’ll get your eggs back if possible but we’ll definitely get whoever did this, I promise.” Teddy gave Hettie his easy dog smile and a wink then turned his attention to the other hens that were pecking about the hen house.
“Did any of you ladies notice anything last night?” he asked.
“No, Sheriff. I don’t think any of us did,” said Mary, the youngest chicken. All the chickens in the yard clucked in agreement.
“I’m going to get you!” Deputy Brownie shouted as he jumped in the middle of the chickens. “Bwa-Kawk!” the chickens all yelled in panic as Deputy Brownie chased them around. “Brownie Dog! You get away from those chickens!” The farmer yelled.
The farmer’s yell startled Deputy Puffy out of his sniff around the hen house.
“Brownie! Stop that this instant!” Deputy Puffy hissed.
Sheriff Teddy decided this was a good time to begin his own investigation. He turned and walked into the hen’s house and started sniffing around himself. There in the middle of the chicken’s feathers was a feather with a scent Teddy didn’t recognize.
“Well, what is this?” Teddy muttered to himself as he picked the feather up in his mouth. He walked out of the hen house toward his office, but paused a moment to watch his deputies and the farmer running about. Deputy Brownie was chasing chickens with the farmer and Deputy Puffy right behind him trying to stop his rampage of joy.
Suddenly, Deputy Brownie let out a howl and ran to hide behind the doghouse. Sheriff Teddy’s doghouse served as the farmyard’s police station and was where Sheriff Teddy went to do his ‘figurin’, as he called it.
“Uncle Teddy! Puffy scratched me!” Brownie howled.
“I only did it to get you to stop chasing the chickens! If you chase them around all the time, they’ll be too skinny and too tired to lay eggs for the farmer!” Puffy trotted up and sat beside Teddy. “Now, Sheriff! You need to train this young pup deputy to take care of duty first and play second.”
“Alright, you two,” drawled Sheriff Teddy, “we have a problem. Missing eggs mean unhappy chickens and unhappy chickens mean an unhappy farmer. We need to figure out who took those eggs from the chickens and how they did it.”
“Did you find any clues, boss?” Deputy Puffy asked.
“I found a feather that I don’t recognize,” said Teddy. “Either of you smell anything odd?”
“I can’t smell anything past those blasted chickens,” Puffy said with a scowl on his face. “How can something that tastes so good smell so bad?”
“OH! OH!” Brownie yelped excitedly. “I smelled…CHICKENS!!!” Then without warning, Deputy Brownie ran off around the yard chasing anything that would run from him. Unfortunately, Brownie ended up running into things that couldn’t run at all.
“Why do you keep him around?” Puffy asked with an exhausted sigh. “Just watching him makes me tired.”
“He’s my nephew and he does come in handy sometimes. Remember, he did help wrangle in Wild Manfred Bull when he went outside the fence that one time.”
“That a fact, Sheriff? What I remember was it took you and me to get Brownie under control once we got to Manfred’s field. That puppy thought Manfred was a new playmate”
“That’s true but he did get Manfred back inside the fence when we couldn’t.”
Deputy Puffy sighed and continuing,” If I had known life was going to be like this with him around, I would have said ‘no, we don’t need a new deputy’.”
Teddy laughed. “Yeah, he’s a bit crazy but he is a good boy.”
It’s a Clue but from whom?
Brownie ran around chasing the chickens for a while, then finally gave up and decided to pay the pigs a visit. He loved playing with the pigs because they were dirty and they didn’t have to take a “bath” which was just another word for “mean” to him.
He bounced into the pig pen barking loudly to get their attention. “What?!?” came the startled reply from Marvin the head pig. He and two other pigs were pushing mud across their yard with their noses. They seemed to building a mound and stamping on it with their hooves but Brownie being Brownie took no notice. “Hey!” Brownie barked. “You wanna play?”
“Not right now, Brownie! We’re in the middle of doing a remodel on the pen. We’ve no time to play with you,” snapped Marvin Pig as he returned to pushing mud away from the pen fence.
“Remodeling? Is that like playing?” Brownie asked jumping up and down excitedly.
“No, it’s not you doofy dog. It’s like work!” answered Marvin’s brother Otis.
“Oh” Brownie said. “I know work. That’s what me and Uncle Teddy and Puffy are doing now!” Brownie said scooting Marvin aside so he could root in the mud too with his muzzle.
“Really? And where are they now? ” Asked Otis in a sarcastic voice.
“They’re at Uncle Teddy’s home office trying to figure out who stole the chicken’s eggs!” Brownie said, getting even more excited now because he was having a fun time pushing the mud everywhere.
“Will you stop that?” Snorted Milton Pig right before he head butted Brownie away from the mud pit.
“Okay,” Brownie said in a hurt voice as he moved slowly away, still wanting to play in the mud.
“What’s this about an egg theft?” Marvin asked cautiously.
“I don’t really know anything about it except that someone stole the chicken’s eggs last night” Brownie replied.
“Really?” Otis asked. “Does the Sheriff have any leads?”
“Nope! But we have a feather! It’s pretty.” With that said, Brownie’s attention seemed to get lost and he wandered off toward the farmhouse.
“The law dogs and cat will be a problem,” Otis whispered to Marvin.
“Indeed they will, brother. They’ll have to be dealt with accordingly,” murmured Marvin.
Back at Sheriff Teddy’s doghouse, he and Deputy Puffy were trying to figure out the feather. Puffy ventured an idea or two but couldn’t come up with anything to satisfy Sheriff Teddy’s itch. Teddy’s itch was always behind his left ear when he had a problem he couldn’t solve. At that moment, Sheriff Teddy was scratching that left ear extremely hard.
“Dog gone it Puffy, I just can’t quite make this feather out. What’s more is how the culprit’s got the eggs out without waking the chickens. That alone amazes me.” Teddy mused scratching harder which meant the problem was a doozy.
“Well, if you’d stop scratching your ear for a moment you might come to a conclusion on those issues.” Puffy yawned. All the excitement of the morning had tired out poor Deputy Puffy. Seven years as a law cat and he was beginning to feel that maybe he should have retired a long time ago.
“It’s not a duck feather,” Teddy muttered.
“Nope, not a duck,” Puffy said drowsily.
“It’s not from a goose”
“Not a goose,” agreed Puffy.
“Not from one of those fancy red cardinals, blue jays or bothersome crows.”
“It can’t be from any of them cause it’s too much of an in between color,” Puffy said referring to his description of grey.
“I’m a dog, Puffy. Almost every third color is an in between color to me.” Teddy said. Just then Sheriff Teddy stopped scratching and barked a loud raucous bark. Puffy jumped three feet in the air and landed with his claws extended. “What the devil was that for?!” he meowed loudly.
“It’s a pigeon feather!” Teddy announced proudly right before a thunderous boom was heard and the large doghouse shuddered from a terrible blow.
“I’m here, Uncle Teddy!” Brownie announced as he careened into the house. “You called me, right?”
“Nobody called you, nutty puppy!” Puffy growled as he groomed his disheveled fur. “Between you and your Uncle I don’t know how a cat is supposed to maintain a decent appearance and all that.”
Teddy sighed and told Brownie about the pigeon feather. “How do you know it came from a smidgeon?” Brownie asked as he sniffed the feather.
“It’s pigeon not smidgeon, Brownie. It smells like you do after a rain plus the farmer’s truck when he drives it around. See these stripes on the tip?” Teddy pointed at it with his paw so Brownie could follow what he was saying. “Those are like what we saw on those pigeon’s that stayed with us a year back.”
Puffy huffed angrily. “Why’d the farmer call those disgusting bird’s street chickens when they taste nothing like chicken? Street chickens, my eye. ”
“And how do you know what they taste like, Deputy?” Teddy asked Puffy suspiciously.
“It’s just a rumor I heard once,” Puffy answered shyly.
“Hmmm. Well, let’s get back to the matter at hand.” Teddy said,
“‘Street chicken’ is just a funny nickname, Puffy. Much like when the farmer calls you a ‘roof rabbit’ or the chicken’s ‘yard ducks’,” he explained.
“That’s another thing! Chickens taste nothing like ducks and vice versa!” Puffy howled indignantly.
“You are too literal, old friend. Now, as I was explaining to our over anxious young deputy here, that’s the reason I didn’t recognize it. We don’t get enough pigeons around here to actually know their scent right off, ” Teddy said.
“So what do you mean, Uncle Teddy? A pigeon stole the eggs.”
“Only if it was a Frankenstein pigeon,” Teddy said thoughtfully. “No, it would have had to have been a whole flock if it was pigeons, because that’s what it would take to make off with all them eggs.”
Puffy interjected, “If it wasn’t a pigeon that took them, then how did that feather get there?”
“Maybe the pigs did it,” Brownie said in an amazed whisper.
“Why the pigs?” Asked Puffy.
“They were acting funny earlier. They wouldn’t play with me. They got mad at me because I kept moving their mud around with them.” Brownie told the others.
“I can understand how you would think they were acting funny because they didn’t want to play with you but it takes more than that to go investigating them,” said Teddy with fondness in his voice. “The mud issue does make me wonder though. We may have to take a look at that later.”
Puffy spoke up with an idea, “Well, we could go see Mavis Mare. She always has her hooves in everything.”
“That’s a good idea, Deputy,” said Teddy. “Let’s go make a social call.” And with that Sheriff Teddy proceeded to lead his two deputies to the stables to talk to Mavis Mare.