The Case of the 109 Slugs and a Lizard Part 2

1 Dec

Part 2

Katie and Willie made a fort out of covers and then began to mildly argue about William’s book selection.  In Will’s mind there were only two choices, but Katie had other ideas and they didn’t involve battles and swords or marshmallows.  Besides, Katie didn’t want to read The Case of the Disappearing Marshmallows because her big brother Tom wrote it for them, and she was convinced that if she read the story, then she would have to write Tom a story in return.  She wasn’t about to make an obligation of that magnitude.

Even at the age of eight Katie was a girl of her word.  If she said she was going to do something then she followed through on it.   In one such case when they were both 4 and 5, Katie decided that William would do a magnificent job at cutting her bangs.  They grabbed the scissors and sat down outside the bathroom door on the hard wood floor and K & W beauty salon was open for business.  William took the scissors in hand and in no time at all there was a small pile of hair lying at their feet.  When their dad opened the bathroom door after taking a shower, his jaw dropped with shock.  Just like God asked Adam and Eve where they were after they had eaten the forbidden fruit, their dad asked the obvious question;

“What happened here?”

At that moment, William looked at Katie and asked;

“Should we tell him?”

With deep contemplation, Katie paused, and then after careful consideration gave an emphatic, “NO!”

With that, the conversation was over.  No amount of punishment or coaxing could convince them to break their pact.  They finally caved after a few days of silence, but Katie’s resolve was evident to all.

Eva walked in the room just as the arguing had escalated.

“Katie, we’re not going to read that,” William moaned as he snatched the book from her hand and threw it to the end of the bed.

“Stop it Will,” Katie exclaimed in a whiney tone!

“Both of you stop it… I’m going to pick the book tonight.”

Eva’s authority broke the bantering, and they both snuggled back into the covers and were ready for Eva’s selection.

She scanned the book case behind their bed waiting for something to catch her eye, when they all heard a scratching noise out on the front porch.

“Oh no, I bet the rabbits are loose,” William shouted as he erupted from the bed and dashed toward the front porch.

Eva and Katie weren’t far behind as William pulled open the front door.  They all squinted from the darkness as they looked around with intensity trying to discover what had made the scratching noise.  Eva finally flicked the porch light on as William and Katie made their way to the rabbit cage.  The cage was locked and the rabbits were all in their place when they heard the scratching sound again, but this time it was at their feet.  They all had a bewildered look on their faces as William and Katie stepped back up on the porch still trying to locate where the noise originated.  As they peered down at their feet they were surprised by the longest banana slug they had ever seen.

Katie let out a restrained giggle as they all peered down at the little slithery creature.

Willie on the other hand was so taken back by the slimy slug that he let out a hyena laugh that echoed across the valley and probably scared deer, elk, dogs, cats, and every other living creature that graced the surrounding woodlands.

Eva leaned in to get a better look.

“There’s something on its back,” she said. “It almost looks like uhhhhhhh…… uhhhhhhh saddle.”

“Who wood have put a saddle in on nasty slug like that,” she questioned out loud to herself?

Once again William erupted in laughter. At this point, Eva was convinced William was playing a practical joke. After all, he had been out salting slugs earlier in the evening.

“William, did you put this harness on the slug?”

Will had a puzzled look on his face as he forced himself to contain his amusement of the whole situation.

“NO,” he nearly shouted!

His answer satisfied her, but the question still remained.

“William, run and grab the magnifying glass.”

In a dash William took off towards the kitchen. You could hear his bare feet pattering across the wood floor, the drawer open, and then pattering again until he busted out the front door and nearly stepped on the slug.

They all squatted together as the three of them tried to look through the glass.

“William, hold it right there, there’s something written on the harness,” Eva said, as they all leaned in.

They were dumbfounded when they made out the words, “you’re our only hope!”  As if on queue, they looked at each other with total confusion, and mild disbelief.



Copyright of tommuellerbooks

Written by Tom Mueller


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