Monday, February 20, 2012

The Adventures of Mascot Continued: An Almost-Murder Mystery

To read about Mascot's previous adventures and how he's teaching me to savor the small stuff click here.

It was a dark and stormy night in the Heights. The kind of night that chases average Joes inside and into bed, and lures murderers out of their lairs and into the violent darkness where they can commit unspeakable crimes.

[Enter: the sound of thunder, rain pelting the windows, and spooky music].

Okay okay, it was actually a sunny morning, and the most violent noise to be heard was the roar of the lawn mower. But it was still the kind of morning that lures murderers out of their lairs and into the open and entices them to commit unspeakable crimes. Killing crimes.

The crime: attempted murder
The place: the geranium patch on my back patio
The time: between 7:30 P.M. last night and 10:30 A.M. this morning
The almost-victim: Mascot, my three-legged grasshopper
The perpetrator: Well, that's what we need to figure out, isn't it?

It all started when I was sipping a cup of tea on my sunny patio, thankful that the horrific screeching of the wild cats living nearby had been drowned out by the rumble of the lawn mower. As is usually the case on days like this, I became so engrossed in the morning that my tea grew cold. Cold tea is, quite possibly, the only thing that can rouse me from my chair when the sun is shining so happily.

I got up to warm my tea in the microwave, and that's when I saw Mascot clinging to the uppermost corner of the window to the right of my french door. Any higher and Mascot would have been climbing onto the roof. I knew something was up. Something—dun dun duuuuun—nefarious.

I quickly searched Mascot's geranium home for Alpha Hopper, but he was nowhere to be found. That's when I saw this:

Evidence of digging in Mascot's geranium patch. Wild, frantic digging. The kind of digging that takes place when someone is trying to capture and kill a helpless three-legged grasshopper that isn't as slow as he looks.

Thank goodness Mascot's got hops.

Fortunately, I have years of experience reading children's stories in which big creatures try to bully little creatures, and I was able to deduce from the evidence that a four-legged creature with paws is most definitely our criminal.

I spent the rest of the morning compiling a list of all the possible perpetrators that could have been on the premises at the time of the crime.

Suspect #1:

The family dog.

I love this dog. She keeps me company when no one else is around, lies protectively across my doorwell at night, and likes going on walks as much as I do.

But she digs. Oh boy does she dig. Without discretion.

And she steals. Oh boy does she steal. Without shame. Most recently she stole one of my favorite flip flops and my favorite kitchen rag (yes, I do play favorites with my kitchen rags), and then promptly buried them. No one has seen them since then.

Her frisky track record does not exactly work in her favor.

Suspect #2:

The coyote that lives on the grassy hill beyond my patio.

This coyote is aggressive. He kills living things for kicks. I know this for a fact, but I will refrain from telling you how I know this because this blog is rated G. Just trust me and know that his track record does not not not work in his favor.

Suspect #3:

The wild cat that lives somewhere close. Too close.

I do not have a picture of this cat, but if its piercing shrieks are any indicator of its appearance, then it looks like this:

Looking for this photo may have been the most disturbing google search of my life

I don't know anything about this cat's track record, except that it keeps me awake, often late into the night—at an hour that, incidentally, would be perfect for committing an unspeakable crime. Also, the mere fact that she is a cat does not, in any way, work in her favor.


Alert: It has recently been brought to my attention that the pool guy was on my patio at approximately 10:00 on the morning of the crime. And although he has only two legs and hands instead of paws, his presence automatically makes him suspect #4.

His track record is one of cleaning debris out of the pool and bumping my patio chairs with his pool-cleaning gear. It's my fault. The chairs were in his way. And as far as I know he does not carry a shovel with him, or have any problem with three-legged grasshoppers. His track record actually works in his favor.

Suspect #5:

The rat that scurried by me while I was sipping tea last week.

This rat startled me and made me sit upright in a hurry. My rapid movement startled the rat, and made him drop the date he was carrying in his mouth. This means he may not have eaten that week, which means he may be very hungry for, say, a grasshopper. It also means he may have a bone to pick with me, and his hunger for vengeance may have led him to attack the ones I love.

His hypothetical hungers do not work in his favor.

So there you have it, readers. The crime scene has been inspected, and the suspects investigated. All that's left is to determine who the guilty party is. And this is where I need your help.

So, whoooo done it?

Read my verdict here.

© by scj


  1. I think it was the second gunman on the grassy knoll. It had to be cuz he's been out of work lately.

  2. Ahh, good call. It has been pretty dull for him around these parts... Thank you for your input, Jury Member!

  3. I have no idea, though my bias toward the species inclines me toward the crazy cat...

    Regardless of the verdict, I appreciate the laughter that this post just brought to my evening. :) Thanks!

  4. Definitely the deceptive dog with disarming eyes. Look into those eyes and you'd NEVER think him/her (can't remember and can't go back and look) capable of such calculating skullduggery. Dig in that spot -- right where the dug-out mulch makes an X -- and you'll find your flip flop. And your favorite dish rag.

  5. Tiffany, YES!!! The cat's catness make it suspect to all sorts of horrific deeds....;)

  6. Aunt Peg,

    Great point! Those eyes make me melt...I'm getting out my shovel. ;)

    So far we're at two votes for the dog, two for the cat, and one for the coyote.

    The rat sure is getting off easy...;)