Rated: E · Short Story · Children's · #1906343
A short story about a wee detective and his adventures.
| One early morning, Andy McShandy woke up from his good night’s sleep, and peeking out over the top of his little straw bed, saw his Mum Sandy McShandy looking all about her. “Now where did that ham bone get away to?” his Mum muttered. “I know it was here last night before we went to our beds. Randy? Have you seen the ham bone?”|
“No, m’love,” said Randy McShandy, who was Sandy’s husband, yawning big and looking sleepy-eyed. “Wasn’t it over next to the flour bin?”
“Aye, Randy, I looked there first,” said Andy’s Mum. “I saw it last night, and now it’s gone.”
Andy heard his Pa say, “Don’t worry, m’love; it’ll turn up soon enough.”
Andy hopped out of his bed and padded to his Mum’s side. “Yeah, Mum, don’t worry, I’ll finder it for you. I’ll start right away!”
Mum looked at her little man, and smiled. “I know what a good looker and finder you are Andy. I know you can help finder the ham bone. But don’t say ‘yeah;’ it makes you sound like you haven’t been taught your words.”
“Sorry, Mum. I do better with my finder than I do with my words.” And then off Andy went, out through the back, to look for the ham bone. But first, his finder had to find his best friend Petey. Petey could help find the ham bone. Petey lived next door to Andy and Randy and Sandy on the farm of Boris and Doris MacNorris.
Andy McShandy lived on the Isle of Auld Meare off the west coast of Scotland, along with his parents Randy and Sandy McShandy. They lived on the farm of Mr. Bandy McShandy and Mrs. Mandy McShandy who were their master and mistress, you see. Andy and Randy and Sandy were West Highland White Terriers, those cute little white dogs that everybody calls Westies. Bandy and Mandy were people, and certainly not as cute as Westies; the kind that everybody calls Scotsfolk.
Andy’s best friend, Petey, wasn’t a Westie, either; he was a Scottish Terrier, the cute little black dogs that everybody calls Scotties. Andy and Petey had been best friends since they were very little, when they had both been small balls of fur with ears sticking out, Andy, a teensy-tinesy white ball, and Petey, a tinesy-teensy black ball, and the pride of their parents from their very first days on the farms.
Andy could finder anything, and sometimes he even found trouble, like the time he went running down a warren hole, chasing a bunny that turned round and thumped him good on his little black button of a nose. No more bunny chasing for Andy, no sir! Or the time that Andy ran under the fence and got chased by Flinty McGinty’s big old ram. No more sheep herding for Andy, no sir!
But most of the time, Andy’s finder worked like magic, and he could finder anything that anybody lost, and double-quick too! Andy and Petey called themselves “detecters,” and most of their days were spent detectering all around the farms.
Andy McShandy jumped over the low stone wall down the way, and ran through the big pasture to Boris MacNorris’s barn. “Petey!” called Andy, “Come on out! We have detectering to do! Mum lost the ham bone, and we have to finder it!”
Petey came out of the barn, and looked at Andy McShandy in a funny way. Petey said, “Finder a ham bone, Andy? If somebody took a ham bone, they have eaten it all up by now!”
“No, I don’t think so, Petey. We just have to ask all around at the other farms, and I just know we’ll finder the ham bone for Mum.”
“OK, Andy, I’ll go too, but I don’t have much hope for the ham bone.”
At that, Andy McShandy jumped up and down and spun all around. “Hot doggity, Petey; we’ll finder it for sure!”
They ran for the lane, crossing over to Flinty McGinty’s place, looking for Flinty’s old dog, Fergus. Fergus didn’t get around too well any more, and he couldn’t see all that good, but he had a terrific sniffer, and Andy just knew if there was a sniff of ham bone in the air, old Fergus would know about it.
Old Fergus was lying down in the green grass just inside a sunbeam, sleeping with one eye open, and snoring loud, just like always. Andy and Petey scrambled up to him, and Andy almost tripped.
“Watch it, you two! I can see you, and hear you, and sniffer you coming a mile away!” Old Fergus like to pretend to fuss at the young pups, but he was a softie, and Andy and Petey were his best little mates.
“Sorry, Old Fergie,” Andy said.
“And don’t call me Fergie; it’s Fergus to you!” Andy danced a little jig, and jumped back before Fergus could get a piece of his scruff.
“You’ve got to help us Old Fergus,” said Andy. “We’ve got to finder Mum’s ham bone!”
“Ham bone? Did you say ham bone, Andy? Why, just of this morning I sniffered the wonderful smell of ham on the breeze. I think it came from across the hedge.”
“Which, hedge, Old Fergus? There are hedges all ‘round!”
“Hedges-smedges, double medges! You two are the detecterers! Detecter the right hedge! And off you go now; I’m late for my nap.” And with that, Old Fergus curled right up in his sunbeam, closed his eye, and began to snore again.
“Okay, Petey,” said Andy McShandy, “Let’s get a-goin’. Want to try that hedge over there?”
“Sure enough,” said Petey. “Let’s go!” And off they went, rumblin’, bumblin’, stumblin’ their way right up to the hedge. It was big, and wide, and tall, and thick, and deep, and dark, and they couldn’t see any way through. Right then, they heard a little voice say, “Go away! ‘Weave me a-wone, and wet me sweep!”
“Who’s there?” said Andy and Petey together. “Where are you?”
“No one wets me ever sweep!” said the little voice. “I might as well get up; too much traffic in here!” Just then, a wee-tiny head all covered in prickly-sticklies popped out of the hedge, right in front of Andy and Petey, who jumped a foot high.
“You scared us!” cried Petey, backing away from the hedge. “Who are you?”
The wee-tiny head was attached to a wee-tiny body, also with a fur of prickly-sticklies, and as she crawled her way out of the hedge, said, “Why, I’m Henrietta Hedgehog, and who might you be, young masters?”
“I’m Andy,” said Andy McShandy.
“I’m Petey,” said Petey. “And don’t you try to scare us again, because we don’t scare easily, you know!”
“Scare-schmare,” said Henrietta Hedgehog. “I never scare anybody, but a lot of them scare me!”
“Well, we’re not scared now; we’re looking for a ham bone that Old Fergus thinks may be over here.” He sniffered it, and said it came from this hedge.
“Ham bone?” said Henrietta Hedgehog. “I’ve seen no ham bone. But I do be-weave that Possum came by with something in his mouth. I could hear him all a-giggle.”
“Possum?” said Andy. “They don’t like ham bones.”
Henrietta said, “Yes, it was Possum, I just know it. They’re as bwind as bats, you know, he and might have thought the ham bone was a whist-wull!”
“A whistle?” said Andy and Petey together. “Yeah that’s it! A whistle! Wait a minute! Did you hear Possum playing a whistle, Henrietta?”
“No whist-wull, just a giggle-jiggle.”
“Which way did he go, Henrietta?” asked Andy McShandy.
“Thattaway,” Henrietta said, pointing towards the big old barn at Pavish McTavish’s place up the road and around the bend. Old Mr. McTavish kept big cows at his farm, and even a big bull, too. Andy and Petey often heard their Pa’s say, “Watch out for the hooves, boys, they’ll cut you something fierce! And the horns will send you on a merry trip if you don’t mind your step!”
Andy looked at Petey and said, “The barn at Pavish McTavish’s? Petey, that’s a scary old barn, but that’s where we go next! I hope we find Possum and get Mum’s ham bone back!” And off they went, tumbledy-stumbledy, running and jumping and jumping and running until they got close to the old barn, then they slowed waaaay down.
“Andy, do you really think Possum would go in that old barn?” said Petey. They were looking across the pasture, past Pavish’s cows and Pavish’s bull and right at the old barn that was tilty-stilty, and saggy-waggy, and downright creepy-crawly. Then Andy and Petey went waaaay round the pasture that had those cows and that bull because they sure didn’t want to tangle with those hooves and those horns. They came up to the old door of the old barn, and squeaking it open, looked inside the old dark place
“Look at that, Petey. That looks like a ham bone over there, doesn’t it? Let’s go see.”
Over they went, tip-toeing on the hay ‘til they got to what they saw. But was it a ham bone? No sirree, it was just an old stick! Just then, they heard a hiss from the stalls. “Don’t touch my whistle; it’s not finished yet!” And out of the gloom popped Possum!
“We didn’t touch anything; we’re just looking for Ma’s ham bone,” said Andy.
”Ham bone, schmam-bone! That’s my new whistle, or it will be when I finish it.”
“Well have you seen the ham bone? Do you know where it is? Did you take it?” Petey asked, standing behind Andy and peeking over his shoulder at Possum.
“No and no and no. Now begone with you both, I’ve work to do on my new whistle!” And at that, Possum showed his pointy little teeth at them both, and they turned and scampered out of the dark old barn, and into the bright sunlight.
“Gosh, Petey, what can we do? We’ve worked hard at findering and detectering, and still no ham bone. And I’m getting hungry.” Andy sat on top of a big boulder sunning himself, and Petey stretched out in the green grass.
“I dunno, Andy. I guess we better go home and tell your Mum and Pa that we haven’t findered the ham bone. Maybe we can detecter some more tomorrow.” And off they went, running and jumping and jumping and running, all the way back home to Bandy and Mandy and Sandy and Randy and Andy’s farm place, arriving all out of breath and panting.
“Mum, I have bad news,” said Andy after he and Petey had a drink of water.
“What is it dear?” said his Mum.
Andy said, “We went up hill and down dale, over and across, and around and through, and along and amidst, and beneath and beside, and between and betwixt, and behind and below, and over and under, and inside and outside, too, but we never did finder the ham bone, Mum, and I’m so sorry.”
“Well, Andy, I have a surprise for you,” said Mum. “Look what we have here.” And she showed him a big ole ham bone!
“Mum, where was it?” said Andy, his eyes wide.
“Your Pa findered it, Andy. “A long-long-long line of ants came in last night and they all got underneath the ham bone, and lifted it up straight away and started carrying it back to the hill.”
Randy, Andy’s Pa said, “I looked around a saw some little ant footprints from some little ant sneaker-shoes in some of the spilled flour dust by the bin, and I sniffered and findered, and caught those ants red-footed, and just about gone with our ham bone!
Andy danced his little jig and hugged his Mum and his Pa. The ham bone!
“Mum, can Petey stay for supper? That’s a very big ham bone, you know, and we’re two hungry findering, detectering detecterers!”
Mum said, “Of course Petey can stay. He’s a sure-shot detecterer, just like you and your Pa, Andy.”
And they all sat down to a fine meal of findered ham bone, and everyone soon was licking their chops.
MMMMMM! That ham bone was good!