Joey’s Fantastic Tale
Teddy and Puffy woke up the brilliant summer morning feeling well rested. They walked out into the farmyard to accompany the farmer on his morning rounds of the farm. When Brownie didn’t run up to them like he did every morning, Puffy and Teddy knew something was wrong.
Puffy looked around the farmyard but didn’t see Brownie anywhere. “Where’s that goofy brown menace,” Said Puffy in an annoyed voice.
“That’s a good question, old friend,” Teddy said as he turned from watching the farmer feed the cows to looking around. “He’s not even in the farmyard or we would have seen or at least heard him by now.”
Just then a loud quacking filled the air as Joey swooped in from the pasture. He landed clumsily in front of the barn and skidded to a stop ten feet away.
“We’ve got to help Brownie!” Joey said as he stood up and then fell over after taking a couple steps.
“What?” Teddy barked. “What do you mean we’ve got to help Brownie?”
“Brownie’s in trouble? Where, Joey? Where is he?” Puffy growled.
The farmer came out of the barn to see what the commotion was all about. He saw Joey attempt to stand up and fall over again before running to Joey. Teddy and Puffy ran closely behind him.
“Land of gumption!” The farmer yelled before he gently picked Joey up. “What have you done to yourself duck?” He asked as he walked back to the farmhouse with Joey in his arms.
Wilma, Florence and Stella Cow had all come out of the barn when they heard about Joey’s current troubles.
“What’s the matter duck?” Stella mooed loudly as she walked to the fence. Got into the farmer’s cider again!”
Teddy turned to look at Stella and her sisters. “You gals just need to tend to your hay. This may be official farm law business.”
“Why do you keep him around anyway, Sheriff?” Florence said in a shrill voice. “He’s not one of us!”
Puffy who was halfway back to the farmhouse with the farmer, ran back to face the cows. “You watch your mouth, cow!” Puffy snapped back. “You’re right, he ain’t one of you! He’s a duck who serves this community and has laid his life on the line time and again to protect you and me both!”
Florence and Stella stood dumbfounded before they tried to stutter a response. “You… I mean…who are you…Sheriff! We don’t have to stand for this do we?” Stella sputtered.
“Ladies, go back inside and we’ll forget all about what you’ve said here” Said Teddy sternly.
Florence and Stella slowly walked inside their barn leaving Wilma behind. “I’m sorry, Sheriff. Deputy Puffy, I apologize for the way my sisters acted. I truly hope Deputy Joey is fine,” Stella said with care in her voice.
“Thanks, Wilma,” Teddy said. “I know he will be. We’ll see you later.” Teddy and Puffy returned to the farmhouse at a quick walk.
“We need to find out what happened to Brownie and Joey as quickly as possible” Teddy said as Puffy walked through the pet door.
“You got that right, boss,” Puffy responded once they were both in the farmhouse living room.
The farmer sat at the kitchen table and held Joey in his lap. “What did you get into, duck,” The farmer said as he trimmed some of Joey’s wing feathers with a small pair of scissors. “You got singed feathers here and a heck of a goose egg on your head.”
Joey turned his head toward Teddy and Puffy and started to quack in a whisper to them. Teddy quietly barked to Joey. When Teddy stopped, Puffy started to switch between growling and meowing to Joey. At one point Joey pulled his wing out of the farmers’ hand as if he were showing it to Teddy and Puffy. The farmer was amused at the animals acting as if they were talking to each other, but he put it off to animal concern mixed with friendship and nothing more. If he knew what they were really saying he would have been greatly surprised.
What the three law animals had actually said to each other was this. “Boss, we have to…we have to get Brownie back,” Joey said tiredly.
“Take your time, my friend and speak slowly,” Teddy said as he sat down. “What do you mean we have to get Brownie back? Where is Brownie, Joey?”
“It was aliens, Teddy,” Said Joey softly. “Aliens took Brownie last night while we were on our patrol.”
“What? What nonsense is that your talking about, Joey?” Puffy said in disbelief. “Aliens took Brownie? You’ve been into the cider while watching X-Files, haven’t you?”
“Does this look like something cause by cider and a TV?” Joey asked as he jerked his wing away from the farmer and held it up.
“I’m just saying that it’s far fetched is all,” Puffy said as he looked away.
Teddy glanced at Puffy before speaking to Joey. “Just tell me what happened after you and Brownie left for patrol.”
“We saw pink flashes coming from the pasture so we went to have a look. The flashes were coming outta the old barn and when we got there we saw three giant worm looking things trying to fix a flaying saucer made outta rocks or something.”
At that moment, the farmer finished trimming Joey’s feathers and placed him on the ground. Joey gave his wings a little flap to see how they were and promptly collapsed to the floor.
“You act like you done flew a million miles, duck. You should take it easy for a while,” The farmer said as he picked Joey up again and then carrying him out to the front porch. Puffy and Teddy quickly followed and watched the farmer walk out into the farmyard to finish his morning chores.
“So what happened after you saw the ‘worm things’ and their flying saucer?” Puffy inquired sarcastically.
“You think I’m crazy, don’t you?” Joey loudly quacked.
“No one thinks you’re crazy,” Teddy calmly said.
“No, I do think he’s crazy,” Puffy said which made Joey even more upset.
“I ain’t saying anything till ya make that grumpy flea ridden excuse for a cat apologize!” Joey said as he flapped his wings. That didn’t help Joey’s cause any because he then promptly fell over onto his left side.
“I’m sorry, Joey”. Puffy said with mock sincerity before Teddy could interject. “You’re not crazy, you’ve been into the cider!”
“I have not!” Joey howled as he tried to get back onto his feet.
“DEPUTIES!” Teddy roared. “CALM DOWN!”
Teddy’s loud barks calmed both Puffy and Joey down as well as shame them into silence.
“Look, you seem to think Joey’s been up to no good, Puffy,” Teddy said impatiently, “So please tell me where you think Brownie is?”
“I don’t know, probably sleeping off his share of the fun somewhere,” said a sulking Puffy.
“Argh! Will ya please listen!” Joey pled. “Brownie and I were attacked last night by aliens.”
“Calm down, Joey. Please tell me what happened after you saw the aliens,” Said Teddy.
“We watched them using some pink ray gun thing to fix their…ship I guess ya’d call it when one of them saw us. We tried to get away but they had some gizmo gadget that shot out silver rays that kept me and Brownie from getting away.”
“Now we’re getting somewhere,” Teddy said. “So how were you able to escape, Joey?”
Joey appeared lost in thought for a moment. “I don’t know. Maybe my flying had something to do with it. Brownie’s stuck on the ground but I’m not so maybe their ray guns don’t work so well on things that fly.”
“Alright,” Puffy began. “This is all very interesting but now let’s go find Brownie and get on with our business.”
“Fine!” Joey screamed. “You don’t wanna believe me, that’s just fine. I’m going right back up to that barn and get our pal back.” Joey flew into the air about three feet then crashed back down. “Wow. Dear God am I tired. Farmer’s right. I do feel like I flew a million miles.”
Puffy rolled his eyes at Joey as Joey sat down on the ground in front of them.
“Go on up to the porch, Joey,” Teddy said kindly. “Puffy and I will go to the pasture and barn to look around. Just rest there till we get back.”
“Okay, I’ll do that but ya better be careful. Those worms play for keeps.” Joey walked up the porch steps and sat down under the farmers’ favorite rocking chair.
“Don’t worry, Joey. Hopefully we won’t see any giant duck eating snails while we’re out either,” Puffy said with a laugh.
“Ah, stick it in yer ear, cat! You’ll see I was for real when ya get there!” Joey said as Teddy and Puffy left the farmyard.