It all started that crisp winter evening. Lily and Riley were throwing a Christmas party and they locked me in the attic so I wouldn’t get into mischief while they were preoccupied with their guests. They learned the hard way that letting me roam around during the parties wasn’t a good idea. You see, I have a thing for food, so whenever I smell something REALLY good, I go crazy and nothing can stand in my way until I get to that food. So after the first few dinner parties ended in disaster, they tried locking me in various rooms. I eventually found my way out of them all, but the only one that has given me a mound of trouble is the attic. It’s very dull and boring up in the attic. There is not one morsel of food, only the boxes filled with long forgotten knick-knacks and gizmos, the crates of comic books from when Riley was a boy, and the humongous Victorian mirror that stretched way up to the ceiling. The only light comes from the tiny skylight, and by now it is so covered in dust, spider webs, and who knows what else, that only a faint glow of light peeks through. It is very lonely up in the attic, as the only company I have is the lone rat or spider, and believe me, they are gigantic and repulsive and you had best stay away from them. Since Lily loves to throw parties, I’m stuck in the attic most of the time.
The smells wafting up from the dinning room are enough to drive anyone crazy, and since my sniffer is sensitive and sharp, it picks up those smells even clearer. This evening Lily’s feast is a roast duck, stuffed with various spices, herbs and veggies. On the side are mashed potatoes with thick, sumptuous gravy, sweet corn, and warm buttermilk biscuits. I can feel the craziness bubbling up from inside me, the smells are just too good to ignore. I jump up onto the makeshift stairway that I made out of the many boxes scattered around. I finally finished it the last time I was up here, so I haven’t been able to test it out. I have a map of my direct route to the dining room fresh in my head and as I’m clambering up the boxes I run through it once more. I push open the dusty skylight, dust imbedding itself into my golden fur so it looks like I have bad dandruff. I jump up onto the rooftop, the crisp winter air clearing my head, but only for a moment. And then I’m off running across the roof, my feet pitter-pattering against the thin layer of ice.
I jump suddenly as my spy phone rings. Yes, I am a secret agent. I work for the CIS, or Canine Investigation Squad. And yes I am a dog. The names Vonschnitzel, Kurt Vonschnitzel. No that’s not my real name. If I tell it to you, I
know you will laugh, like pee in your pants laugh. I answer the spy phone and who might be on the other line, but my good pal Mojo. “Hey Kurt, we need you at the
McGregory house, boss says there are a few men sneaking about. Wants to know what’s up.” “Kay, be right over.” I hang up the spy phone and shimmy down the nearest drain pipe. I hate leaving behind all that delicious food, but a mission comes before food, no matter what my stomach tells me. Besides, if we do a good job on this mission, the boss will make us a feast even bigger than the one back home.
Thankfully, I don’t have to run very far. The McGregory’s live about five houses away. Their house is a large, white, Italianate Victorian, which means, that the windows and rooms are all symmetrical, they are spacious and have high ceilings. It’s one of my all time dream homes.
As I near their house I slow down. I creep around to the back, and crawl through the hole in the fence that Moo, Maxwell, the McGregory’s daschund, and I dug long ago. The McGregory’s were away for Christmas vacation and no one was there to watch the house. “Hey, over here.” Mojo hissed from behind a pomegranate tree. His muzzle was all red from eating one two many pomegranates. I dart over, making as little noise as I dared. “Hey, what’s the status?” I ask, in barely more than a whisper. “The boss says that two men were sighted prowling around the yard tonight. They had on all black, carried guns, and each had a sack over their shoulder. Oh, and the scariest, and most suspicious thing of all, was that one of the guys had a limp and a scar going right through his right eye ” Mojo exclaimed. “Oh my god, like that guy the police have been trying to catch for over a month because he broke out of jail and has been trying to steal anything of value from targeted houses? ” I said in a rush. “Yeah, seems likely.” Mojo replied. Suddenly, a twig cracked to our right, and there they were, the two goons. Prowling through the night like cats stalking mice. Their voices were muffled by their midnight black scarfs so we couldn’t make out everything, but we did manage to hear words like rock, window, jewelry, safe, demolish ,escape.
I jumped suddenly as a sound of breaking class shattered the night. We looked towards the windows to see a giant gaping hole where, moments before, were giant panes of glass. The goons threw their sacks through first, and then clambered inside. Once we were sure they were in a different part of the house, we crept up to the window and jumped inside. All seemed normal except for the shattered glass on the ground.
We stole through the house, looking for any sign of danger. Once we knew the first floor was clear, we journeyed up to the second. As we neared the landing, we heard voices coming from one of the bed rooms. We peeked inside and what do
you know, there were the two hooligans, sifting through Mrs. McGregory’s jewelry box. We backed into another one of the rooms and tried to come up with a decent plan. “Ok, you give the boss the ok and tell him to call the police. Once the goons hear the sirens, they’ll try to escape. We have to distract them until the police can sort things out. If worst comes to worst, I will pull the lever on my spy phone and.......” I whispered. “No you can’t pull the lever That would be suicide ” Mojo whispered angrily. “If I have to sacrifice myself for the good of the mission, I will.” I hissed back. “Just signal the police and I’ll tell the boss the status.” I stalk to the opposite end of the room and call the boss. He picks up on the first ring and I explain the situation. Mojo sends out a distress signal to the nearest police station and then puts the spy phone away. “And now we wait.” he says. “And now we wait.” I reply.
We don’t have to wait long. Soon we hear sirens in the distance, getting closer by the minute. We rush into the hallway ready for the goons to come barging out any second. They stumbled out, cursing and shouting at each other. “How’d they find us?” One shouted. “I don’t know, but we got to get out of here.” The other replies. They try to hasten down the hallway, eager to escape, but they are laden with the heavy sacks full of jewelry and things of value. Halfway down the hallway, we bar the way, growling and barking. “Stupid dogs, get out of the way.” One yells. He aims a kick at me but I side step him easily. The heavy sack throws him off balance and I seize my chance and attack him. I scratch his face and he howls in pain. Meanwhile, Mojo has the other hoodlum cornered. He jumps and bites the man between his legs. He screams in pain and slumps to the floor. The other goon runs to his friends aid which was a mistake. He doesn’t see the bag of dropped possessions. He slips on it and bangs his head against the wall. He is immediately knocked unconscious. At that moment, the police charge up the stairs. They rush over and inspect the hooligans. We try to slip away unnoticed but to no avail. “Hey, you dogs, did you do this to these two criminals?” one of the cops asks. We nod our heads and smile sheepishly. “Thanks we owe you big time.” The cop pats our heads and we are dismissed.
We traipse down the stairs, not knowing what to do next. The front door is ajar and we make a beeline for the exit. As we step out into the light , we are greeted with applause and then Mary, Lily and Riley’s four year old daughter, runs up to me and gives me a great big hug. “Oh Puddles,” she says “You’re the bestest dog in the whole wide world.” I lick her face, only caring a little about Mojo’s snickering in the background.
After the police left, we all went back to my house for a celebration feast. We ate the leftover desserts from the long forgotten party. My favorites included schnitzel, mini fruit tarts, and Riley’s famous chocolate chip cookies. As I ate, and ate, and ate, I realized what a great life I had, and even though being locked in the attic all the time had its disadvantages, I loved being the dog I was and living with Lily and Riley.