Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Six:
Case File No. 01-261
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Where We Left Off:
There may be some new residents of Bunny Hollow. We are going to keep paying attention to see how this affects Bunny Hollow politics.
May Day Eve:
WELCOME TO YEAR SIX of cat detective cases, adventures, and research! We’re kicking off this fiscal year with a case of vandalism.
The elder humans, The Cook and The Grumpy Old Man, have been through this criminal activity before. Their house has been targeted for years. Sometimes it’s a stranger looking for food. Other times, we’ve come to believe they are looking for a way inside.
May Day was being celebrated around the world for different reasons. It’s a welcoming of spring honored with fun fertility rites like dancing around a May pole. It’s also about the strength of the working class who deserve to be treated fairly. At the Winchester-Nabu estate, it’s the annual day to welcome back the fae folk. The fairies arrive in the garden as ferns are starting to sprout and uncurl. The gnomes leave the indoors and return to their seasonal work in Gnome Grove to assist in patrols, noting who comes and goes, feeding the critters, and filing reports.
Before our gnome phalanx could get to work, we had a new case. The bird feeder on a horizontal pole projecting from the roof of the front porch was vandalized. The pole was sharply bent downward. No mortal squirrel could have done that. A super strong squirrel, however, could.
There’s also the possibility of the local volkolaks looking for a meal. Those bear shapeshifters find bird seed irresistible. It’s even more appealing since the elder humans put out some top quality stuff that smells really good and has berries in it.
A Jersey Devil or devil-deer hybrid would be another good suspect to add to the list. Gus and I have made notes of many hoof tracks in the spring mud. The closest tracks we’ve seen to that particular bird feeder were still not underneath it. They were way off to the side near a hidden set of stairs.
Lately Oliver has taken to resting in his suite in one of Caico’s old towers. He barely fits in it, but Ollie can make himself comfortable in tight spaces especially boxes. The tower presently overlooks The Cook’s patio. If he were in that tower he wouldn’t get a direct view of the bird feeder. However, the oldest of Caico’s towers is right against one of the front windows. Ollie and Gus use that one from time to time. It provides them a good bird watching spot and a place to be near the elder humans when they sit on the front porch. If only one of them had spent the night conducting a stakeout in the front window!
It was May Day Eve or May Eve. I asked Oliver if he could spend seeing if that night meant anything special other than what we already knew of Beltaine. Oliver discovered that there’s a Filipino story which centers around a ritual done on May Eve. The heroine of the story, Agueda, does this ritual using a mirror to see who her future husband will be. She sees a devil. According to summaries of the tale, Agueda is forced into marrying someone she does not love. He treats her as a possession as women were regarded in the 19th century.
We don’t believe that anyone in the immediate neighborhood is from the Philippines or descended from that ethnicity. The closest thing is that we love the comedy of Jo Koy, but he’s not around here in person. If he is, someone tell me!
If someone was awake that late on May Day Eve, were they looking for trouble? Were they doing a ritual? If so, was it the mirror ritual from folklore? Who has reasons to be out in the middle of the night on that particular date? There were so many questions and we weren’t getting any answers quickly.
Gus examined the crime scene a few times knowing that with each passing day, things would be more disturbed. I looked around with him and didn’t see any clear footprints now that it’s spring and the grass is lush. There was nothing in the small flower bed either except spilled seeds and young sprouts shooting through the dirt.
I never know when Gus will be spooked by a vehicle since the front is right against the road. Sometimes he’s fine. Other times he’ll bolt even before a vehicle is close. He’s the same in the driveway. I can’t take my eyes off him. If I knew he would always run away from engine sounds, I might be able to breathe easier. Up on the wide front porch, he sniffed around the door and the chairs. The railing didn’t catch his attention. Yet, if someone were interested in reaching for the birdfeeder pole, they would have to get it from the porch…unless it was someone capable of making themselves incredibly tall. Hmmm.
In the past, witnesses have seen a bear on the front porch using the railing for leverage to get to the birdfeeder. Since Gus hadn’t detected anything like that in this case, we are going on the premise that the culprit was capable of reaching up from directly beneath the pole. If it was a bear or a volkolak, it was a full grown adult. They are the most likely suspects when it comes to cases of severe vandalism of birdfeeders. Squirrels can do plenty, but the crime scenes are generally different. Squirrels may disassemble feeders, but they don’t smash them nor do they bend metal.
We were looking for someone tall and strong.
Wouldn’t that be something? I bet he likes trail mix. I’m already daydreaming that I’m telling Gus to fix his Super Smeller on what I imagine is a fine Momoa scent trail.
We’re going to have to wait for more evidence. We haven’t seen any of our volkolak neighbors since last year. At last count we had: Arkadi, Arthur, Silly, Val, and Ainsley. Arkadi was the biggest and oldest, but that doesn’t mean he’s the culprit. Any of them could stand up and reach that birdfeeder.
Case Status: Open