“Hey, Betts, do you have a good story to tell?” Adele asked.
Betts frowned. “I stay away from the two-legged creatures,” she said seriously. “I keep to the creek. Lots of pinchers, swimmers and meanderers.”
“I keep to the creek. Lots of pinchers, swimmers and meanderers.”
Percy and Gerard were talking at once now, each trying to outdo the other while detailing their escapades to Adele, a more than willing audience. Betts sighed and licked her paw.
I cleared my throat, loudly, and this time all eyes were on me.
“Remember the game I told you about?” I asked, and everyone nodded.
“Course!” Percy answered. “That’s why we’re here!”
“Well, we’re really here for the prize!” Gerard interjected. “At least I am.”
“I admit the prize was my incentive to show up,” Betts said simply. “I knew I would win.”
“Really?” Gerard sneered. “You who finds her food only in the creek?”
“I know my way around a garden,” Betts almost whispered. “You never forget.”
“My mother took us to a couple of them when the air was starting to get cold,” Adele offered. “The two-legged creatures always seem to have something yummy growing in the dirt!”
I sighed. “Look, the rules have changed,” I blurted out. “And there will be no game.”
“What?” Adele asked, and her bottom lip started to quiver.
“That’s it, I am out of here!” Gerard growled and hopped off the tree. “Like I always say, never trust a two-legger!”
Percy climbed down and took a few steps toward me and then stopped. “I misjudged you, I did.”
“No, let me…,” I began, but Percy merely shook his head and muttered.
“Gerard! Come back,” I called. “Please listen, all of you. It is very important!”
“Hey, get back here,” Betts commanded. “I have a feeling it is important.”
“This had better be good,” Gerard snarled, and he once again climbed onto the fallen tree.
Percy scowled and glanced at the other “contestants.” “Two-legged creatures cannot be trusted!” he muttered and walked slowly back to the tree and crawled on top. They were now staring at me, and their distrust could not be plainer.
“Just to be clear, I have brought what each of you asked,” I assured them. “It will be yours after you listen to what I have to say.”
Adele wailed. “But I was ready to guess! I’m a great guesser!”
“Look, if there’s no game, let’s just jump to the prizes!” Gerard grunted.
“Let her talk,” Betts said quietly.
“Two-legged creatures cannot be trusted,” Percy muttered.
“As I said, we will not play the game today,” I began, and Percy started to grumble again.
“For now…I need you to listen to me!” I said. I sounded cross, I know, but I had a good reason.
Last night, when I realized that my original plan of organizing a Twenty Questions: Gardening game would never happen, I was angry. I was angry because of the reason. And now I had to tell them. They had to know. Their lives depended on it.
“Get to the point!” Gerard snapped.
“All right,” I said. “Those escapades you have been bragging about…Gerard…the rubbish bins…Percy…dragging the dog food out of the garage and into the woods and stealing the eggs…apparently you and your kin have been more destructive than usual. I know you think of it as a game, but the two-leggers are mad, and they are about to fight back.”
“So, some of you will get a cur or two,” Gerard joked. “Those silly creatures are useless!”
Percy snickered. “Yeah, or they’ll change the latch. Don’t matter, though. I’ll just go over or under.
“No, it’s much worse than that,” I said.
“You’re scaring me,” Adele whimpered. “I thought this was going to be fun!”
“I did, too,” I said. “A fun guessing game about gardening.”
“The two-leggers who live in this area—from the large house by the creek with the huge garden and chickens to the little house over the hill—the one with the large plot of corn—have banded together,” I continued.
“I know the house with the corn,” Percy said gleefully. “Last year I ate so much I gained quite a bit of weight. I’ll eat less this year because you never know when you’re gonna have to clear out quick!”
“Last year I ate so much I gained quite a bit of weight.”
“That is an example of what you should not do,” I explained. “Like I said, the two-leggers have decided to unite with one goal in mind.”
Percy scoffed. “Are they going to put more of those strange things in the ground that give off a light at night and make a humming sound?”
“I’ve seen those things…they look like giant eyes!” Gerard said. “They’re easy to get around. I do it all the time.”
Adele’s smiled. “Will one of you show me how to do that?”
“No!” I shouted, and they quieted and looked at me expectantly.
“Forget about the strange things that make humming sounds,” I said, trying to keep my voice steady. “Believe me, they are united in this.”
Adele frowned. “In what?”
I stood and began to pace, which is what I do when I am agitated about something. And I was definitely agitated. I had planned what I would say about the subject, but now I was somehow at a loss for words.
“Do we guess how many times you’re going to walk back and forth?” Gerard asked sarcastically.
“I would really like my reward now,” Percy scowled. “I’ve got things to do!”
Adele frowned. “Maybe it’s a game where we guess what she’s doing?”
Percy glowered. “I’ll tell you what she’s doing. She’s making me wish I was on my way to inspect the bins at the little place at the end of the dirt road. After all, it is rubbish day!”
“After all, it is rubbish day!”
Betts gazed at me. “You have to just come out and say it. You know it’s the only way.”
I stopped pacing and smiled at her. “You’re right, of course.”
I turned to face them. “The two-leggers are working together to do one thing and one thing only: and that is to eliminate you.”
Next: Part 4: Twenty Questions: Gardening (or so I thought)
Feature Image by 4924546 from Pixabay
Raccoon in Creek Image by Brummeier from Pixabay
Corn Image by aixklusiv from Pixabay
Angry People Image by WikiImages from Pixabay
Gerard – Image by HNBS from Pixabay
Adele – Image by edbo23 from Pixabay
Percy – Image by Andreas Lischka from Pixabay
Betts – Image by AtakOnArt from Pixabay