CANINES

 

blog photo 84 sinatraWHAT IT IS

Pictured above is the head of the Canine Unit of the Boston Police Service. Sinatra was lecturing at a police dog training convention in New Orleans when word reached him that his long time partner had gone missing in the tunnels below Beaver County, Pennsylvania.

He immediately booked passage on the Amtrak out of New Orleans bound for Beaver Falls. It was a quiet trip, except for a ruckus that broke out just as the train was leaving the station. The FBI tried to arrest a passenger, but he eluded capture by smashing out a window and jumping from the fast moving train. Sinatra’s ears perked up when a passing agent’s radio announced they were in pursuit on one Tiny LeBlanc.

WHAT IT IS NOT

Several years before the inaugural Canine Olympics, the thought of such a competition was considered a joke among the sports elites around the world. But the perseverance of the reigning president and the enthusiastic participation of the world’s canine athletes silenced the critics of the event.

Indeed, this athlete from Beaver Falls received encouragement, financial support and even transportation aid from Cricket and Sapphire when he was preparing for the Olympics. Consequently, he now spends his days roaming the countryside of Beaver County looking for the two.

 

DELIVERY DUCK

 

 

 

 

blog photo 83 ring neck duckWHAT IT IS

Margaret Brookside had a system. She’d take a parcel of land 640 acres in size, break it down into 80 acre sections and pour over the aerial photographs until each parcel of land was thoroughly scrutinized. It was a tedious task, made much worse when Mutt Jefferson showed up with a ring neck duck outfitted with an infrared camera strapped to it’s underside.

To his credit, Mutt roped in Justine Flagstaff of the Reuters News Agency with promises of an exclusive story when Cricket and Sapphire were found, if she would agree to help Margaret with these new thermal images.

WHAT IT IS NOT

On opening night, the notorious ring neck duck critic from the Waterfowl Times was spotted on the beach, just minutes before the curtain was to go up.

The critic had already reported on pre-production activities, calling Mildred’s rehearsals ‘amateur hour,’ suggesting Mildred’s production was not all that it was quacked up to be. Needless to say, when the reporter and Mr. Crane crossed paths, all manner of feathers flew.

GEOLOGY

 

 

 

 

blog photo 82 gravel pitWHAT IT IS

Geologists from around the world flocked to the site, all wanting to study the potential of wrestling Holmium from what the locals called The Three Chipmunk Range.

The munks were Canadian munks, trained in the banking industry, shuttled off to Oslo Norway to work for a national bank and when their work was completed, shipped back to Canada. Ending up at the Chapleau Game Preserve, the ambitious munks were eager to contribute to the community and set about looking for things to do.

The munks decided to do a complete bio-mass survey and inventory of the area, and on the fourteenth day in the bush ran across this unusual geological formation.

WHAT IT IS NOT

It was four AM, Slim Clemons drove his Hummer slowly down the dirt road, looking…just looking for anything that might help him find his friends. He may have been down this road before, it was a long life and roads were plenty. This road ended in a large opening, essentially a gravel pit, and as Slim turned the Hummer around he noticed what looked like lights bouncing around at the top of one the gravelly peaks.

Slim started walking toward the lights, finding two self describing good old boys from Louisiana, who were also searching for Cricket and Sapphire.

 

Crab Apple Tree

blog photo 81 crab appleWHAT IT IS

Davey Doucet happened along at the right time to prevent Emma and Bill from leaving their sanctuary in the woods and join the efforts to find Cricket and Sapphire. Doucet reassured them a small army of people were scouring the area trying to find their children.

On a warm June day Doucet sat under a sweet smelling crab apple tree listening to Emma dissect their lives; from their disappearance in 1988, to finding their old friends Will and Beatrice, to Davey discovering them in the old cabin.

Doucet pieced together some of the story on his own but with this new wealth of information from Emma he guaranteed them the whole ordeal would soon be made public and they could come out of hiding forever.

WHAT IT IS NOT

Acting on a reliable tip, twelve INSECT agents led by Graham and Smith flew to Missouri to assassinate No. 1. The dirty dozen, as they liked to call themselves, rented three black SUV’s at the St. Louis airport and drove to an area not far from the Mark Twain National Forest.

They arrived at dusk, each team of four assembled their pesticide canons and moved toward their assigned location, a piece of land known as Plot 82. Huge crab apple trees occupied the land and insect No. 1 was clearly visible at the edge of the trees feeding on the nectar.

The demise of No. 1 would not be accomplished on this day. A diaspora of a hundred women appeared from behind the tree trunks, each firing tranquilizing darts in the direction of the agents. Bedlam followed, most agents were hit but managed to struggle back to their vehicles except agents Jones and Brown who were last seen being dragged away by the determined mob.

 

 

 

 

DEER

 

blog photo 80 White tailed deerWHAT IT IS

It always happens…it’s like a Murphy’s Law thing…when you need the flashlight, the flashlight won’t work. Davey Doucet waited a few moments, gently slapped the thing into the palm of his right hand, then unscrewed the front end of the light and peered at the two dead batteries. Doucet pushed on!

As his eyes grew accustomed to the dark, he wondered what his four- legged partner was up to in the other tunnel. Undeterred, Doucet estimated it was forty-five minutes from the time he entered the tunnel to the time he exited. The tunnel ended as it started, with a cement stairway, this time leading to the basement of a small United Methodist church.

Doucet made his way out of the church, startled to see a deer only a few feet away. It was as if the deer was beckoning to Doucet, so he followed it along a fence line and into a thick woodlot. Doucet marvelled at the size of the trees, how they made the air smell sweet and how dark and quiet the forest was. As he followed the ungulate he came upon a small cabin that appeared at least a hundred years old and the couple sitting on the chesterfield maybe seventy years old.

WHAT IT IS NOT

The Conservation Officer had just stopped his truck when four shots rang out. It was small arms fire coming somewhere just north-east of where he stood. He was alone and justifiably nervous as he approached the two men holding handguns.

“CO Michaels advancing,” his voice strong, oozing authority. “ Please holster your firearms.”

Klaus Wagner and Peter Lehmann quickly obeyed the officer, explaining they had just shot over the head of a white- tailed deer…just for laughs…not intending to hit it. They said they were staying at a lodge on Lake Tomiko, recently up from Louisiana for a little vacation and adventure.

While Michaels was checking their passports and related documents, a message popped up on his computer screen indicating these two men had outstanding immigration warrants and were to be immediately transported to the immigration center in Toronto, Ontario.

Michaels drove the pair to the North Bay airport where they were met by two agents from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. After pleasantries and documents were exchanged, Michaels watched as the four boarded a small plane bound for Toronto.

Seven days had passed since the incident, when Michaels received a memo from the Ministry of Transportation regarding some irregularities regarding Wagner’s drivers license. He contacted the immigration department in Toronto with this new information and was told in no uncertain terms that warrants for Wagner and Lehmann did not exist and no agents were dispatched to the North Bay airport.

SONGS

 

blog photo 79 Close SwanWHAT IT IS

Mr. Song was the keeper of a magnificent waterfront property on Lake Ontario, not far from Tommy Thompson Park. Mr. Song was a close friend of Mildred Duck and when he heard of Mildred’s upcoming production, he offered the cast and crew the property to use as their staging area.

Mildred was grateful for her friend’s generosity and on their second evening Mildred planned an elaborate wild rice dinner for Mr. Song and anyone he wished to invite. The meal was a great hit, and everyone was enjoying themselves until a loud argument broke out between Mr. Crane from the troupe and Mr. Song’s nephew who just flew in from Lake Tomiko. It seems the free- spirited nephew and the strict discipline of Mr. Crane resulted in the loud disagreements on just about everything.

WHAT IT IS NOT

Margaret Brookside’s experience with office administration, her attention to detail and her ability to work independently made her the obvious choice to scan the hundreds of aerial photos taken by Mutt Jefferson’s swan.

After being released from her duties at the mayor’s office in Beaver Falls, she would spread several hundred photos out on the floor of her office and carefully study each one looking for anything that might stand out.

It was painstaking work, with little reward. For five days Margaret diligently reviewed the photos brought to her by Slim Clemons’s private investigators. When she studied the photos covering the trestle area she was familiar with, the aerial views she was now looking at displayed unusual patterns in the fields surrounding the trestle. The trestle appeared as if it was the center of a spider web, with tentacles shooting off in all directions, many interconnected to one another.

THE RIVER

 

 

 

 

blog photo 78 French RiverWHAT IT IS

Samantha, like many others, spent a week or more combing over Beaver County looking for Cricket and Sapphire. A phone call from search and rescue in Ontario, Canada would divert her from Pennsylvania to the Chapleau Game Preserve where a woman living in the area was reported missing.

Will had opened the barn door and was admiring the Beaver aircraft when Samantha drove up with the fuel hose she’d been waiting for. It was a simple task, five minutes at best, but when she went to connect the hose there was already a new one in place.

Samantha looked sternly at Will, four years ago it was the oil separator, then an elevated jack screw, and last year a housing bearing…all mysteriously fixed by a farm mechanic who insisted he knew nothing about airplanes.

Samantha had no time and no inclination to grill her father, so she simply let Will hook up the tractor to the plane and tow it to the runway. Within thirty minutes Samantha was airborne, heading for the Canadian wilderness.

WHAT IT IS NOT

Miles Hobbson sat in the comfortable leather chair, his eyes fixed but not focused on a small white envelope in the middle of his large walnut desk. It would be his first official letter opening since becoming the mayor of Beaver Falls.

He picked up the envelope, shuffled it back and forth in his hand, listening to the single page inside slide from one end of the envelope to the other. The contents of the letter were brief. Drake Johnstone, Beaver Falls counsellor was resigning his seat immediately and taking up residence on the mighty Temagami River in Northern Ontario, Canada.