Middle-Grade Mystery Monday: The Case of the Mangy Mutt
Melinda T. Falgoust
The Case of the Mangy Mutt
“I am going to sue you for every penny you’re worth, Honey Crisp! That mangy mutt has RUINED my poor Xolo! He was a prize show dog. Now look at him!”
Jona Gold threw a manicured gesture toward a quiet, grey dog. He would have been unremarkable among all the other dogs jumping and playing about Freyburg Public Dog Park, save for one glaring feature. He was nearly completely hairless!
Jona Gold was a recent resident of Freyburg. She had blustered into the quiet little burg from the big city. She didn’t seem to have a job, but always seemed to have money…and lawyers.
Honey Crisp, who ran Freyburg’s local doggie daycare, had brought her latest client, Rufus, to play at the park. Rufus was a ridiculously shaggy English Sheepdog. He belonged to Granny Smith, Freyburg’s retired post mistress. Honey had to admit, Rufus’ coat may have been a little matted and maybe a touch dirty, but he was a lovable oaf who enjoyed sharing slobbery kisses with anyone within jumping distance. Currently, he was giving Katy Putts a generous tongue bath.
Katy was the detective daughter of Freyburg’s Chief of Police. It was an unofficial title, of course. (Ten-year olds weren’t allowed on the force.) However, she was as clever as any grown-up when it came to ferreting out felons and crafty criminals over barbecued pork and sweet corn at the family dinner table.
Rufus’ drool plastered Katy’s bangs against her freckled forehead. Katy didn’t mind. She loved dogs. She had even done a school biology report recently on several different breeds from around the world.
Honey tugged on Rufus’ leash. “I honestly have no idea what you’re talking, Jona Gold. And this is the first time I’ve ever SEEN your dog, anyway. No one in town even knew you had one. Besides, Rufus wouldn’t hurt a fly.”
Rufus plopped his furry rump on the pebbled sidewalk and promptly began scratching his head with a hind leg.
Jona recoiled in horror. “Do you see that? Do you see that?” she screeched. “It’s the mange! And he’s passed it to Xolo. He’s certainly left those horrible mites all over this place. Now, they’ve caused all of Xolo’s beautiful hair to fall out!”
Katy had been listening to the entire conversation. She calmly stood up and dusted herself off, then whispered in Honey’s ear.
Honey’s sweet face turned sour. “Miss Gold, Rufus may be guilty of sloppy kisses, but there is certainly no way he caused THAT dog’s hair to fall out, and I can prove it!”
What did Katy tell Honey to prove Jona Gold was nothing but a doggone con artist? (SOLUTION)