For The Birds
Part 12 of the Muttley Crew Series
By Trish Hubschman
“That’s a bird!” I say, surprised when I walk into the kitchen. There’s a big cage on the table with a blue bird sitting on a swing inside it. “What’s your name?”
The bird whistles. “Re-pete.”
I roll my eyes. “I said – what’s your name?”
“Re-pete,” he says again.
Now I’m getting annoyed. Tabitha, who followed me into the room, taps me on the shoulder. I look at her. “Chauncey, I think that’s his name.”
“What’s his name?” I ask.
“Re-pete,” she replies.
This is getting ridiculous. I grit my teeth. “I said what’s his name?” I’m practically shouting.”
“No, no.” She shakes her head. “His name is Re-pete.”
The bird whistles. I glance at him, feeling silly. “Is your name Re-pete?”
“That’s my name. That’s me,” he replies.
I roll my eyes.
“Have you seen Nibbles today?” Tabitha asks me.
Before I can answer, the bird whistles. “Mouse in the house. Nibbles, Nibbles.” More whistling.
“Shh,” I hiss, jumping up and down. “Don’t be a blabber mouth. We don’t want them to know about Nibbles.”
“Nibbles, Nibbles,” he whistles, pointing his beak toward the fridge.
I glance over quickly and see a little pink nose sticking out from under the stairs. “What are you doing out here?” I ask.
“When are you getting me out of here?” Nibbles cries. “It’s dark and lonely in there. I want to go home or find a new one.”
Re-pete whistles and chants. “A new home, a new home.”
My head snaps back to the bird. “You be quiet. I’m trying to figure things out.” Why was I explaining it to the bird? I turn to Nibbles but wait for Re-pete to say what I just had, and he did. Footsteps were coming. Nibbles ducks back under the stairs. Cookie came in. I sigh with relief. “It’s only you.”
“Are you nervous about something? Cookie asks me.
“Nervous, nervous,” Re-pete chants.
I glare at the bird. “be quiet, Re-pete.”
I’m getting a headache. I plop down on the table and rest my head in my paws, closing my eyes. Maybe they’ll all just go away.
“We’re trying to figure out what to do about Nibbles,” Tabitha explains to Cookie.
“That is a tough one.”
Suddenly, Tabitha jumps up and down. “Why don’t we pass him around, like with hot potato?”
I can’t resist looking up. Has my little sister just come up with a good idea? “Explain,” I urge, not getting up yet. It might not be worth my time. I have to find out first.
“Well,” Tabitha paces. “We can get him outside and pass him on to someone out there who can pass him on to someone else, until he finds a place he likes.”
She has something there. I hop to my feet. It’s my turn. “We can sneak him out late at night when everyone’s asleep, pass him over to that new rabbit under the deck. What’s her name? “
“You mean Cotton Candy?” Tabitha pipes up and I nod.
“A new rabbit?” Cookie’s eyes widen.
I whack his nose. “What did I tell you about playing nice with the rabbits? We need everyone’s help here.”
He lowers his head.
“But what about after that? Cotton Candy can’t do it all. Who should get him next?”
Cookie brightens. “How about we ask the new dogs across the street if they’d help?”
We’re all interested.
“Have you met them yet?” Tabitha says.
Cookie shakes his head. “Maybe we should all go over and welcome them to the neighborhood. There’s four of them.”
“is it safe to cross the street?” Tabitha asks,
“If we look both ways and make sure no cars are coming,” Cookie replies.
It’s my turn to jump in before they got me going along with them. “It sounds like a good plan, but I think you and Little Janie should go over there. You can fill the dogs in on our plan, see if they’ll go along. Tabitha and I can set things up on our end.” Tabitha makes a face. “Hey, I need your help over here, Tabitha” I explain.
“I guess,’ she says.
My head snaps back. I nearly forgot about Blabber Mouth bird. “Don’t you dare breathe a word of this, bird.”
To everyone’s surprise, Re [pete closes his beak and turns his head away.
Trish Hubschman is the author of the Tracy Gayle mystery series: Tidalwave, Stiff Competition and Ratings Game. Tracy is a Long Island private detective. Her sidekick, Danny Tide, is the leader of the rock band, Tidalweav. Tracy is hired to find out who set fire to Danny’s tour bus. While doing this, more dangerous things develop.
Trish is a graduate of Long Island University’s Southampton Campus and has a bachelor’s degree in English-Writing. She is deafblind and lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, author Kevin Hubschman, and their dog, henry.
Her website is www.dldbooks.com/Hubschman/