Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Three: Case File No. 33-137
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Where We Left Off:
Gus and his human discovered a new bone specimen which was not only a case in itself, but impacted two previous cases as well.
Live Action Vole-Playing Game:
Winter has arrived. Gus doesn’t get to patrol outside everyday much to his chagrin. There was a full moon on December 12th followed by Friday the 13th. Temperatures were pleasant and the sun was bright. It was going to be a great day for exploring and checking in on the critters of the Winchester-Nabu estate.
The detective begged to cross the border into the neighbor’s property to hunt. I kept forbidding it which made it all the more tantalizing to Gus. He knew critters were there and he wanted to make contact. There’s a section where a barn used to be next to a swimming pool and is now rocks, pavement, and wood debris. It’s a prime spot for rodents and Gus knows it. I thought he was out to kill, but he had plans. Plans I knew nothing about and as the official biographer, I think I should have been given a heads up.
I gave in and allowed Gus the smallest amount of slack in his leash so that he could step over the rocks. I didn’t want him exploring in the debris pile where he could step on glass or nails. This was the house that had a fire last February and it’s not safe to be over there except in the open part of the yard. The news is that the neighbors have submitted plans to the town planning board and are seeking some variances to tear down what remains of this house and build a slightly larger one with a new garage. There won’t be much more than a small patch of grass which they will probably pave because they already covered more than half the yard with decks and pavement so they don’t have to mow.
Within seconds of his feet touching down on the other side of the rocks, Gus was digging. In a snap he had something in his jaws and was prancing by me. I couldn’t believe how quick it was! He trotted with an aura of sheer delight and glee to the open space near Oliver’s wing. I did my best to get the camera out and document the catch. I wasn’t sure what he had, first suspecting it was a shrew because all I could see were four adorable tiny feet with long toes trying to run in the air and get out of the cat’s jaws. It was clear that he wasn’t biting down hard on it.
In typical Gus fashion, he would let the critter go and then retrieve it. This time, however, he wasn’t throwing it up in the air as he has previously done. He was much more… delicate-ish. As delicate as Gus could be anyway. He wasn’t harming it. He even tried carrying it around in his mouth by the scruff as a mother cat would do with a kitten, only he got it a little wrong and had the rodent’s head entirely between his teeth.
One of the times he released it, the creature ran over to me and climbed on my shoe! I so badly wanted to snap a photo of that but wasn’t fast enough. It perched up on my boot and looked right at Gus. In fact, every time he released it, the rodent would scurry some distance away and then turn to confront him. That’s when I realized how large it was. It wasn’t quite rat size — not full grown rat anyway — but definitely larger than a mouse. The tail was short so when I initially posted to Instagram, I misidentified it as a northern short-tailed shrew. After I got a good look at its sweet, adorable face, I realized it was a vole.
I was able to get close enough to get some decent photos and listen in on their conversation. The critter’s name is Vole Fielding and he knew Gus by reputation. Fielding is a good bloke. He lives across the border from Cheeks Moretti in an area frequented by bluebirds and chipmunks. He generally steers clear from blue jays, cats, and trouble. Fielding has carved out a comfortable life for himself and his family in the burrow under the debris. He’s never been involved with Moretti’s criminal organization, but he has no problem being casually social with those critters either. For those reasons, Gus was interested in making Fielding his new CI (confidential informant aka snitch).
Here’s what I overheard and witnessed as shown in the image gallery above:
Fielding: Sir, if you are going to keep letting me go, then just set me free!
Gus: We have to talk. I’m not letting you out of my sight.
Fielding: Seriously, man?
Gus: I need a new informant. I think, if I let you live, you could be that new informant.
Gus picked up Fielding and moved several feet away.
Gus: You ready to agree to my terms yet?
Fielding: What if I bring you someone else to be your CI?
Gus: You’re out of your damn mind.
Gus picked up Fielding and moved into Gnome Grove. Gnomez Addams is on winter break so the grove is currently un-gnomed. However, the structures are still there which includes a broken train car replica used as a peanut feeding station for the squirrels.
Gus: Maybe some time in prison will bring ya around to my way of things.
I picked up the vole and put him in the broken birdhouse on the ground thinking it would be smart enough to dig down and escape Gus. It did not. Instead they continued to banter.
Gus: Spend some time in here and see if you change your mind.
We had been at it for forty-five minutes so I picked up Gus and carried him home. He was not pleased, but he did get his answer before we departed. Fielding agreed to the terms and would be an informant — if Gus ever catches up with him again. Fielding just might head back underground and not resurface when we’re on patrol. We’ll have to wait and see.
There was no investigation, but Gus did acquire a new informant who happens to live close to Cheeks Moretti on the border. Vole Fielding was left in the abandoned train car and was gone by the next morning. Oliver approved of the new CI.
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