THE MYSTERY OF CHERI CANARY®

“Attention, Pug,” Kara said to her best buddy Ella Bella Mae. “It’s time for the vets.”
Pug climbed off her pillow perch and scampered across the floor to where Kara waited with the leash. Pug’s harness was a bright pink with Seahorses stamped on it. A present from Grand Papa. Pug loved going to the vets. Everyone there loved her and would “oooh” and “ahhh” saying “what a cute little Pug.” And the best part was she would get a treat at the end of the visit.
The waiting room was crowded. Pug’s friend, Louie, a small terrier was the first to say hello. Some yapping from Louie and snorting from Pug was their equivalent of a “high five.”
“Hello Cheri,” Kara said to the yellow canary sitting in the cage on top of the receptionist’s counter. “I hope you are having a wonderful summer.” Cheri Canary whistled back.
Kara eyed up the waiting area. She knew it would be at least twenty minutes before Pug was called to see Doctor Katzenbach. She made herself comfortable next to the lady with the French bulldog puppy.

“I’m Kara and this is Pug,” Kara introduced herself.
“This is Louise and I’m Lori,” she answered. “But we call her Weazey. It’s her first time here. That is why she is hiding so far under the bench.”
“I guess she’s a little shy,” Kara said reaching to pet Weazey’s cute little ears. They were black as ink. ”Her ears are so soft. Just like velvet.”
Phones were ringing, pets and owners were coming and going and the staff called the next patient. All the while, Joe Weasel was making his way unnoticed into Cheri’s cage. Joe Weasel was furry and very flexible. It was easy for him to squirm into small places. Joe Weasel was another office pet. Everyone knew Joe Weasel needed to be watched so as not to harm Cheri Canary. But this day, at this time, there was such distraction that no one saw Joe enter the cage. Nor did they hear Cheri as she chirped and chirped fighting the advances of Joe Weasel.
Once Pug finished her visit with Doctor Katzenbach, Kara noticed Cheri was missing and Joe was in the cage.
“Oh no,” Kara cried out. “Look! A bed of feathers in the cage. Joe Weasel has some in the corners of his mouth.”
Standing next to Kara, Pug tilted her head to the left and then to the right with her big bulging eyes staring up at Kara. It was the look of worry.
“Good grief,” Doctor Katzenbach said. “Joe, did you eat the Canary?” Joe slithered his thin body and big head through the bars of the cage. Going out the same way he got in.
“Oh Doctor,” Kara said. “This is sad. What should we do”?

Doctor Katzenbach looked around his very full waiting room. “There is nothing we can do, Kara. I need to get back to work. I am sorry you had to see this.”
The staff was devastated. They could not believe Joe Weasel got passed them. He had always tormented Cheri Canary. He would sit up on his hind legs peering in the cage and the staff would shoo him away. But this time, it was different. He had gotten in and now the only thing left were Cheri’s yellow feathers spread and splattered all along the bottom of the big brass cage.
“Weazey,” Doctor Katzenbach called. “Hi Lori. Let’s see the new pup.”
Lori stood up from the brown bench and stooped to pick up Weazey. Kara and Pug watched as Lori scooped the little bundle of velvet-like fur into her arms.

 “Look, Pug” Kara said. “It’s a few more of Cheri Canary’s feathers.”  Kara reached down to pick them up. Pug sniffed the black and white checked floor.  Kara picked up the feathers from the trail leading under the bench where Weazey had been.
“PUG!” Kara exclaimed. “Cheri! Come here, little Cheri.”
Kara cupped little Cheri Canary in her hands. Everyone was so excited that little Cheri was not harmed.
“It just goes to show,” Kara told Pug. “Sometimes you might have to ruffle a few feathers for your freedom.”

THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING BUNNIES®

Breezes pushed the leaves of the wild blackberry trees. On the first day of summer, Shirley Squirrel climbed to the highest tree limb. Chattering.
“Tsik Tsik Tsik, Chrrrrrrrr”
Squirrel watched as the others began to gather. In the distance were Betty and Buster Groundhog. Gliding the blue sky was Cardinal Charlie and his mate, Louise. As he descended gracefully, his red feathers glistened like a bright light on the fireman’s truck.
In the far distance were Jeb and Rae Jackrabbit. Squirrel was excited. The Jackrabbits were bringing their babies.
The Cardinals hunched on a branch.
“Good day,” they chirped.
“These blackberries are a good crop,” said Betty Groundhog.
“Save some for us, Groundhogs,” chuckled Squirrel.

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The Jackrabbits arrived out of breath.
Rae screeched almost like a rooster crowing. “Has anyone seen the babies?”
Charlie swooped to the grass.
“Whatever do you mean?”
“When we woke up, they were gone,” Jeb echoed.
Betty growled, “We need to spread out.”
Stanley Snake appeared. “Misssssing bunniessss, eh?” his tongue slithered out of his mouth. “I am headed to the briar patch. I will sssssee if they are there.”
Rat moved from under the bush. “I’ll go with snake,” he burped.
“Aren’t you afraid I’ll have you for breakfassssst,” Snake hissed to Rat.
Rat glared at Snake with his beady, little eyes. His sharp nose took a whiff as the breeze filled the air with the sweet scent of honeysuckles and wild blackberries that Rat could not resist.
“I’ll check the pasture,” squeaked Rat. He spun waiving bye bye with his thin, long tail.
“As I was saying,” Betty spit as she spoke. “Everyone spread out. We will find the missing bunnies”
Cardinals investigated the hill where Charlie thought he had seen something.
“Oh dear,” Louise chirped. “That is not the bunnies at all.”
Charlie moved the bundle with his beak. “It’s only an old scarf someone lost.”
The Jackrabbits were sad. Everyone had been searching all morning. Still no bunnies.
Tired of looking, Buster began grazing the wild blackberries. Rat joined him.
A bulging Snake slithered from the briar patch. He had big lumps in his skin where everyone could see he had eaten well while looking for the missing bunnies.
Betty, Louise, Squirrel and Rae huddled near one of the honeysuckle bushes.
“Snake looks like he had a nice meal,” Squirrel chirped.
“You don’t think he ate the bunnies,” Groundhog’s teeth chattered as she spoke.
Rae Jackrabbit couldn’t bear the thought. She placed herself down on the ground, her head locked in her front legs. She was sad.
“Don’t despair,” the lady animals told their friend.
Charlie landed next to them. “I’ve given the land a bird’s eye view.”
Louise pulled a honeysuckle placing it to Charlie’s beak. “You have to keep flying,” she chirped. “Return and search the nest.”
He glided over Ripple Creek. His wings touched the leaves of the cornstalks as he zoomed through the rows of farmer Tem’s corn. He rested himself on the arm of the old scarecrow. He squinted one eye against the glare of the sun focusing on the barnyard animals in the distance. Rat knows the layout, he thought.
Catching the backwind, Charlie returned to the wild blackberry field.
He swooped down so fast picking up Rat by the neck that the other animals hardly knew what happened.
“Hey. Where are we going?” They could hear Rat in the distance. They watched as Charlie flew with Rat hanging on for dear life. Once landed safely, Charlie hopped around. Rat headed directly for the hog trough.
Charlie stood on the barn roof. He hopped along the roof’s edge, following the faint cry. He peeked into the opening. “Is anyone in there?” he sang. The crying got louder. It was them! Charlie has found the missing bunnies – Suzie, Lucy and Tye.
“Hang on,” Charlie sang. “We’ll get you out.”
Rat slipped into the spout. “Come. Follow me.”
Jeb and Rae were so happy to see their babies.
“We were going to surprise you and get to the field before you, “Suzie purred to her Mother. “We headed in the wrong direction. We will never do that again.”
The Jackrabbits were forever grateful to all their friends.