Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Four:

Case File No. 27-183

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AMBER LOVE 16-NOV-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.

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Where We Left Off:

Gus was mesmerized by a different vodníci frog who was not interested in being friends. The vodníci sent us on a quest where we discovered a dead body.


Secret Passage:

It’s been a little difficult maintaining our relationship with chipmunk mafia boss, Cheeks Moretti. The Grumpy Old Man doesn’t want us to put peanuts in the rock fortress anymore because it’s so close to the cars. We’ve found dead rodents inside the cars. I don’t even think Cheeks has been living in his fortress as much this summer. He seems to go to the construction site a lot more. I suspect because those dogs are still gone, but they will eventually return.

Because of our diverted attention, we’ve been able to spend more time at the boulders near the junkyard and bird feeding tree. This is the home of Chipcent Donofrio and Munka Kelly. To be honest, I don’t know where they live and nest, but they come to the boulders and the small maple for peanuts. I think Chipcent is more willing to socialize. Munka rightfully worries that Gus or I will harm her. I must look like a giant monster to her and Gus is like Godzilla crushing a city.

 

Munka didn’t seem thrilled about the renovations I’ve been making at the boulders. Last year, I had the bushes and weeds cleaned up enough that was a tiny path behind the big boulder leading to the Bunny Hollow trail. It took one week of spring rains to revert back to a jungle. Now that it’s fall, I’ve been cleaning up the front of the area again. The path needs the weedwacker and I don’t use that. Removing the weeds and branches means the chipmunks and birds that feed on the boulder are more exposed. Great for photographing but scary for the critters who prefer to be sneaky.

In our previous interactions with Munka Kelly, we learned that she was a super spy and not officially part of the chipmunk mafia. Chipcent is a rising star since he controls the suburbs of the estate where there’s a lot of action. Gus had quite a fierce fight against Munka Kelly and I don’t think he’s forgotten it.

Since the Mabon equinox, the wildlife has been shifting to prepare for the oncoming winter season. There are less bluejays around being a menacing presence. That means other critters have had the chance to enjoy the snack time feeding when cat detectives and humans go out with bird seed and peanuts.

Many of our trees, including the bird feeding tree, have been plagued by the destructive red spotted lantern bugs. Gus discovered that they are exceptionally fun to chase and a bit delicious. I don’t know if cats are supposed to eat them, but Gus seems to enjoy them. If Chipcent Donofrio is in charge of this district, it would be great if he could eliminate the plague of bugs before the winter hibernation. This would require a meeting or two between the cats and the chipmunks, maybe even some birds, to get everyone to agree that these destructive lantern bugs have to go.

During a recent visit to the bird feeding tree and the boulders, Gus hopped up onto the largest of the rocks and then walked down to the ground on the other side of it. This is still thick overgrown jungle. In order for me to keep an eye on him (a necessary task since he has no hesitation in adventuring alone), I had to walk around the row of unkempt bushes and look for him on the Bunny Hollow trail. He was easy to find this time. I squatted down to see what had his attention. There weren’t any chipmunks out, but Gus could detect their presence. In fact, he discovered a secret entrance to their burrow. Very interesting! Chipcent usually runs along the rocks and through the wildflowers with his stash, but we could never figure out Munka’s disappearing act. Now we know. She uses this secret passageway.

Case Findings:

Munka Kelly and Chipcent Donofrio have different personalities otherwise I couldn’t tell them apart and sometimes I still can’t. Munka’s espionage training keeps her from wanting to make new friends and she sees everyone as a threat. Probably a good choice when you are a tiny creature often preyed upon by larger beasts. Now that we have seen where her secret passageway is, we can try to keep it clear. The Grumpy Old Man has been talking about using a machine to push all those bushes currently in front of Bunny Hollow to the other side of it which would be a massive undertaking. I don’t expect him to actually get that done anytime soon.

Case Status: Closed

Side Note:

We’re also happy to report that while we were outside, we saw Arkadi ran through the yard and up into the woods. He survived the first of the 2020 bear hunts in New Jersey. Unfortunately the number of bears murdered is the highest in one week than in the last three years total two-week harvests. That may end up being a big enough discussion for its own post updating Arkadi’s dossier. At least we spotted him and he’s still alive.

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