Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Four:

Case File No. 17-173

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AMBER LOVE 03-SEP-2020 Find out how all this began. Catch up on Year One, Year Two, and Year Three cases at the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency. Thank you for all your financial and social support! Oliver and Gus are looking forward to bringing you more fascinating discoveries and investigations into the chipmunk mafia, the blue jay gang, the neighborhood critters, and cryptid sightings.

This work is supported by the generous backers who adore my cat stories at Patreon.com/amberunmasked and they also get first access to what’s happening with my books and podcast. For a one-time tip, you can go to the new PayPal.me.


Where We Left Off:

The Chipmunk Mafia is showing a lot of activity which has given Gus motivation to stalk and chase them.


Journal of a Crime:

The fairies and gnome of the estate gardens get more frequent reports in our daily briefings on Instagram @amberunmasked. This year, the main change to the fairy garden was some appropriate solar powered lights that had been on the balcony. A strand of lights had broken so the part that wouldn’t light up any more was cut off and the remaining part of the strand was wrapped around the fairy tree stump. It looks nicer now. Although, rumor has it, the tree stump may be removed some day and we’ll have to renovate the whole fairy garden.

Oliver in stroller, Gus walking

Gus and Oliver have regularly checked in with Gnomez Addams and the fairies. Assaults on the small magickal residents have decreased considerably since last year. We believe this has some correlation to the increase in the Blue Jay Gang presence versus the squirrel residents and visitors. With the birds stealing the peanuts before the mammals and cryptids have a chance to get them, the land critters aren’t as likely to assault anyone during their way to have their meals.

The blue jays have also been fighting with one another. It was also reported by The Cook that they were fighting with a crow. That poor crow! I’ve seen it being chased by three small birds on multiple occasions. I can’t imagine what going against two blue jays would be like.

What do you call a fight between squirrels?
A squarrel.


Gnome Assault:

Back on April 17th, we discovered that Gnomez Addams was assaulted in the grove. His statement said that he didn’t get a good look any notable features of the perpetrator only to say it was most likely a squirrel. We didn’t have anything else to go on.

We asked our CIs if they had any information about the events of the previous night or early morning hours. Rosalu and Ida Ogg have the best views from the fairy garden, but they didn’t have any other details for us either.

male cardinal

Ollie tried talking with Stan the cardinal even though he doesn’t usually visit the grove. Stan pops into the patio next to Oliver’s wing and prefers to feed in more open spaces like the mini picnic table, the front yard, or the fairy garden. He was the best source so far. Stan told Oliver that the perp was an adult grey squirrel who goes by the name Duke Chandler, the Duke of Squirrels.

squirrel at picnic table

Case Findings:

We tracked down the Duke and confronted him about the accusations that he was the one who toppled Gnomez Addams on the night of April 16, 2020. The Duke confessed but said it was an accident and that he was very sorry. He didn’t come forward because he was afraid we would stop putting peanuts in the grove. A valid concern, but we never considered that. The Duke was issued a warning to watch where he’s going and no further action was required.

Case Status: Closed

What’s a squirrel’s favorite way to watch TV?
Nut-flix.


Fairy Assaults:

Vesta

On May 14th, the boys and I discovered the smallest of the outdoor garden fae, Vesta (which really means “hearth” not “virgin”) lying on the ground instead of on top of the tree stump. When I picked her up, Oliver took her statement and Gus talked to the other fae.

small fairy on the ground

Vesta was also knocked down during the dark of night. What’s odd about attack these nightly attacks is that there are no peanuts out to even tempt the critters. They’re gone in five minutes after we put them out which is a morning or afternoon ritual depending on the season. The only thing that would have lured another creature over to the fairies would be sparkles, aromas, sounds, or movement. Vesta said that they weren’t doing anything on that night in question that she thinks would have caused a response.

small fairy on the tree stump

Gus got some different information though. Fiona Brightwing told him that an owl swooped down and knocked Vesta off the stump. It was either a case of mistaken identity or collateral fallout from the owl going after a nocturnal critter. In June, I did find a large feather specimen that I didn’t recognize. I uploaded the photo to iNaturalist and it was identified as a Great Horned Owl feather. That certainly would have been a cool interaction to photograph and witness as long as no one got hurt. I also did an image search on hawk feathers and it’s pretty similar. I decided to go through the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency feather bank and discovered that some other feathers I found (in 2019 maybe) looked consistent in color and pattern though clearly a different body area of origin. Those earlier feathers are downy and fluffy — less firm than a primary wing feather or tail.

Case Findings:

An unsub identified as a Great Horned Owl was spotted swooping towards Vesta by fellow garden fae Ida. We don’t have information regarding the owl’s main residence or a name. The perp has left evidence behind in the past and we believe they are from the same source. It was most likely a case of mistaken identity or an accident. No further action is required, but we will keep our eyes and ears on alert for future evidence.

Case: Closed


Rosalu

A fae from the Toscano subfamily, Rosalu is lithe and strong. She doesn’t mind getting herself into the mix of things. I’m not saying she’s a troublemaker, but she doesn’t exactly avoid doing things that could get her into a troubling situation. Such was the case when Rosalu, Eugenia, and the other garden fairies had a sit-in style protest for Black Lives Matter.

I certainly didn’t expect anyone from our critter population to have an issue with this protest, but even peaceful events can rub other creatures the wrong way regardless of the issue at hand. While Gus examined the bones in the garden (*upcoming details in Case No. 12-158 about the Jersey devil-deer skeleton!), Oliver and I sought information on who could have objected to fairies doing their thing in their own designated area of the estate.

Rosalu reported that a raccoon was grabbing at her with intense curiosity. We haven’t seen Little King Meth House, the local trash panda who was known to live across the street, in a very long time. I honestly suspected that he died. The thing is, raccoons generally aren’t seen. They prowl around when no one is looking and that’s exactly what seems to have happened here.

Case Findings:

During a 24-hour protest, Rosalu was grabbed and knocked to the ground by an unknown raccoon. She couldn’t identify the perp any further than species and she was unharmed. Fortunately, her recent surgeries have been holding up although I did a stupid thing using double-sided strong tape instead of painter’s tape when working on her broken leg.

Case Status: Closed

How do you catch a rich squirrel?
Climb a tree and act like a cashew.


References:

Squirrel jokes found on LaffGaff.

Music in blue jay montage composed by Brennan F. Johnson and Phillip M. Bright titled Alcoholic Implosion.

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