Sequel to: BFF. Fangston is accused of sheep-napping and goes on the lam with Barbraa.
Big bad wolf does it again!
Alleged sheep-napper, Fangston Howl III
A warrant for the arrest of Fangston Howl the Third was issued April 15, after it was discovered that the famous actor, Wooliam Staffner, was missing.
Mr. Staffner, best known for his role in Space Tracks, had arranged to visit Shepherdsville, a simple little town far, far away from the illustrious Big City, to promote upcoming bigwig Curly Hoofstomper's new business, Shear One. However, two days after his arrival, Mr. Staffner disappeared. Witnesses say Howl was the last to see the actor.
Mr. Howl is currently on the lam with Barbraa Hoofstomper, daughter of Curly Hoofstomper. Barbraa is wanted for questioning.
"He may have pulled the wool over my daughter's eyes, but I knew he was a big bad wolf from the start!" said Curly Hoofstomper, father of Barbraa Hoofstomper. "I am sure Barbraa is just an innocent victim in this crime."
If you have any information about Mr. Staffner, Ms. Hoofstomper, or Mr. Howl, please call the Big City Police at (858) 651-5050. Use caution, as Fangston Howl III is considered fanged and dangerous!
Barbraa sighed and dropped the newspaper on the barn floor. It was bad enough that Fangston was accused of sheep-napping his idol, Wooliam Staffner, now the two of them had become front page news when they'd run off to find the real criminal.
"Don't worry about it," Fangston yawned. "Fake news, ya know."
"I know it," Barbraa grunted, flopping into a stack of hay next to her best friend, "But the rest of the world doesn't. They think you're a nefarious criminal, Fangston! I bet they even think you've murdered Mr. Staffner and eaten him. They just don't have the evidence to add that to your list of crimes."
Fangston stretched before rolling to his side, "Look, Corvus is the best snoop in the county. I believe the lead he'll give us on Mr. Staffner's abduction will clear my name. He's never wrong about these things."
Barbraa bleated out a laugh, "You really think Corvus can be trusted?"
"Eh, we'll pay him off with a shiny trinket and he'll keep his yap shut."
"And what," Barbraa raised an eyebrow, "Will keep him from breaking his word, should he get it in his head that he could get a reward for turning us in?"
"I'm hurt that you'd think such a thing," said a voice from the shadows. Both Fangston and Barbraa jerked toward the sound, squinting past stringy cobwebs and mounds of hay to see who spoke. A black crow peeled away from a dark corner and fluffed his feathers.
"Corvus!" Fangston stood and panted in delight.
"How'd you find us?" Barbraa asked, her lips puckering in suspicion.
"Don't take no birdbrain to figure out where you was hidin', dollface."
Barbraa crossed her arms over her fluffy chest and snorted, "I'm from the Merino blood line, thank-you-very-much!"
Corvus shrugged and hopped a step closer to Fangston. "All you sheeps look the same to me, kid," Corvus flapped an indifferent wing. "Now, I hear your lookin' for a certain piece of information. I can provide it. For a price."
Fangston reached for a pouch tied around his waist but Barbraa hurried over and placed a hoof on his arm, stopping him.
"How do we know you won't go to the authorities and report us?" she demanded. Corvus rolled his eyes. His feathers ruffled and then lay down again, smooth and shiny.
"Let's just say, I owe Fangston one," the bird cooed, "You ain't got nothin' to fear from me, toots."
Barbraa forced herself to stare into Corvus's beady black eyes before giving a small nod. She let her hoof fall from Fangston's paw so he could reach in and grab the empty tin can he'd cleaned and saved after their meal of baked beans the night before. Corvus eyed the can and jumped back with a squawk.
"This is all you've got to offer?" Corvus sneered at the can and pointed a feather at Fangston. "I may owe ya one, pal, but I still don't work for cheap junk like that."
"We didn't have time to grab the family jewels on our way out the door," Barbraa huffed.
Corvus cocked his head and nodded at Barbraa, "Naw, but you did bring that sweet little treasure."
Barbraa gasped as she realized Corvus was talking about the single silver ring on her left ear that marked her place in the herd.
"She'll be happy to hand it over," Fangston stared straight at Barbraa, unblinking. "Wouldn't you?"
With a sigh, Barbraa slowly reached up and unclasped the ring. She hesitated for a moment before stretching out her hoof. Corvus snatched the ring from her grasp and tucked it into his feathers, out of sight.
"All right, so I was flyin' over the Why River and what do I sees? A boat full of bucks and our very own esteemed celebrity from Big City bein' toted 'cross the water to the north side." Corvus cackled, "Brings a whole new meaning to the word kidnapped, eh?"
Barbraa blinked, confused, as the bird elbowed her in the side, a knowing grin plastered on his beaked face. He shook his head as Barbraa stared dumbly at him.
"Sheesh, do I has to spell it out for ya, sister? Your pal was kidnapped by a herd of goats."
"Oh," Barbraa nodded and looked at Fangston, who was trying to fight back a grin.
"Well, that's all I got, fellas. Hope ya stay outta the slammer, Fang. It ain't no place for a wolf like you." Corvus spread his wings and winked at Barbraa. "And thanks for the earring. It'll go real nice in my collection."
Barbraa snorted as Corvus's feet lifted up from the barn's wooden floorboards. With one last caw, Corvus shot out of the barn and into the sky.
"Let me guess," Fangston licked his lips as they both squinted at the sky, watching Corvus turn into a black speck and finally disappear into the clouds, "Our next stop is Horn Valley?"
Barbraa nodded, "My herd won't believe that it was the goats that took Mr. Staffner unless we bring back proof. Or —"
Fangston's tail swished uneasily as Barbraa flashed a smile at him. "Or what?" he asked, furrowing his hairy brow.
"Or we rescue Mr. Staffner ourselves!"
Fangston groaned, "I was afraid you were going to say that."
Barbraa scooped up her satchel and flung it over her shoulder. She bounced out of the barn and pointed toward the Why River.
"C'mon, Fangston! We've got a sheep to rescue!"
"I'm coming, I'm coming," he grumbled, grabbing up his own bag and creeping from the old barn. Shielding his eyes from the sun, he helped Barbraa push past a tangle of ivy and blackberries. There was no turning back now.