This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. It is not often that I return to the scene of a crime. You see, when an arrest is made, I have to wipe my paws clean of it to make room in my schedule for another crime solving day. But, alas, we found ourselves at Hillsborough River State Park again this week. We left here a little over a year ago to finish up our Adventure Of A Lifetime. And we were not too sad to leave. You see, the White Pants Man Person had driven us out, Girl Person’s shoe had disappeared, and someone had called the rangers on us. Need a refresh on that story? As in all of my arrest books, which I have volumes, I keep track of it all. Here you go, if you need to catch up.
Now. On with the issues at hand. Or at paw. Yes, we returned back here to this camp despite the many trials of last year. Because, well, it is a pretty place.
Also, Boy Person has to figure out how we can hook up our sewer hose at this mom’s house for us to park there for a month. That’s not an attractive sentence, but listen. I don’t know how else to say it. As attractive as I am, that sentence still didn’t take away any of my handsome.
But as we got our campsite set up here, we were all pretty tired. And the persons were pretty smelly. Yep, a whole day on the road and night that turned into an early morning when we had to change campsites again didn’t fare well for any of us. Girl Person decided that the best thing she could do was go and take a shower. She had not forgotten about last year. Oh no. She put all of her shoes inside, and she wore her oldest pair of shoes to the bathhouse. She locked the door and told all of the shoes not to go outside under any circumstances. None. I guarded the door and Deputy Digby dreamed about caring. I could only wait for Girl Person to get back. And I made sure that no White Pants Man Person came anywhere close to our door or any raccoon either. You see, I never had figured out who to arrest regarding Girl Person’s stolen shoes. At first, I only thought of the White Pants Man Person. But then, the raccoon’s footprints had led me to his path. And I had decided that they were in cahoots. Cahoots in hiking boots. So I arrested them both. If I could turn back time, I would do it again.
As Girl Person was gone though, I heard it. As tired as I was, I heard the footsteps. The breathing. The water bowl overturning. He. Was. Out. There. I smelled him, and I knew either the White Pants Man Person had not taken a shower in a very long time, or it was the raccoon. Now, when you have four paws and no keys, it is hard to open a door. All I could do was growl my Sheriff growl. And he knew I meant business. Just because he was out on parole, and it was a year later, this would not make his arrest go any quicker. I was gonna get him. But where was Girl Person? I heard her take out her keys.
As Girl Person walked in, I tried to let her know how much I had done while she was gone. She told me that it had looked like the raccoon had drank all of our water. And I was mad. She told me that the raccoon had dirtied up my lounging blanket with mud. I was mad. But then she showed me what she had found. And you guessed it. It was shoes. Two shoes. Not one shoe. But two shoes.
Now, at first, I wondered. How did this happen? But as usual, Girl Person keeps talking. She said when she got out of the shower, there was a pair of shoes on the counter with a sign that said “free” Size 7 1/2. And yep. That’s her size. And she can afford free. And she figured, hey, that was pretty pawsome. And so she left in one pair of old shoes, and came back with another pair. And I knew what I had to do.
Raccoon? Apology accepted. It is not often that a criminal that I arrest recognizes the error of his ways. It is not often that one wrong is replaced by two rights. The power of my handsome and my justice never ceases to amaze me. Also, you have amazed me. Although Girl Person would have preferred her one shoe back, she will take your apology too. And maybe, if we can get out of this campground today without seeing any White Pants Man Person, that will be good. But now I am wondering. Did he change into black pants? I guess I’ll never know. I do know this though. Well played, raccoon. Well played.
-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle