Bodie's Mystery at the Country Estate -Part II

Bodie’s Mystery at the Country Estate
Part II

            The slurps and gurgles of Moosh, Aspen and Father disappeared in the noise of Khan and Austin’s argument over a game of, ‘fart or bad breath.’ Khan had turned, squatting, so his butt was near Austin, whose eyes were tightly shut.
            “Oh dude! There’s no way broccoli smells that bad unless it’s coming out the other end. Fart,” he said proudly.
            Khan quickly turned around, and opened his mouth, making sure to hang it right in front of Austin’s eyes before he opened them.
            “Nope, ate out of a black bag of ‘a la garbage,’ that I like to call “what’d that used to be,” said Khan, and laughed heartily, stomping at the ground with his massive paws.
            “I’m not playing against a cheater,” said Austin. He stepped back and twisted his head to make sure the map was still secure in his collar. The rolls of his neck kept him from seeing, but he pretended all was fine, and began to prance off.
            “Fine Austin! Let’s go again,” said Khan. He hadn’t moved, because with one step of his long legs, he’d be well head of the waddling Austin. “You wouldn’t have known I chea- You opened your eyes before the game was over,” he said.
            Polar Bear and Bodie had taken to picking up the burrow, with the sleeping Hermione inside.
            “You’ve got her wormies, right,” said Polar Bear.
            “In the backpack,” said Bodie between clenched teeth. He was secretly glad they were only tiny little things, because he could almost imagine his backpack shifting with their wriggling movement.
            “Wish my bag had come in on time,” said Polar Bear. “I’ll make sure to have it on our next adventure. Then I can carry the crown I’m making Mother craft for me.”
            Penny had moved in the direction that Moosh and crew had gone, and slowly peeked around the corner. Luna, on her heels, craned her neck to see over Penny’s back. Her pink collar with blue leopard spots was neon against her black fur.
            “When we get outta here, what do you say we ditch these boys and have some prime bone chewing time,” she said.
            Penny nodded her head in agreement, “sounds like a plan, but first you have to help me tell my brother, Diesel about this. He’ll be so jealous!”
            About the time Penny’s sentence came to an end, they saw the wiry, flicking tail of Aspen disappear over the top step, and into the estate.
            “Can you see over that landing,” said Penny to Luna.
            Luna rose, to stand on her hind legs, using Penny’s back to steady her front paw on. Her ears honed in on the direction of the mansion. “Father is … licking the door,” she said. “Now they’re going in. Annnndd their gone.” Luna dropped to all fours, and shook her fur out.
            Penny’s eyes darted past the mansion, and to the sweeping acres directly behind it.
            “The hedge maze,” she said. “Their headed to the hedge maze!”
            In her excitement, Penny had completely overlooked the wide trench of flowing water that separated the back of the house from the empty field. The small bridge was covered in tarps, weighed down with heavy rocks. Under construction, there was no way to cross it.
            “Hope you guys like swimming,” she said, over her shoulder. “We have a maze to get to!”
            Bodie and Polar Bear had come up behind Penny and Luna, both of their mouths clenched around a section of the burrow. Hermione was surprisingly heavy when she was fully asleep. Her belly must be full, thought Polar Bear, and snickered. He knew there would be a meal fit for a King waiting for him at home.
            “You win! You win,” said Khan, in between gags. “Hoo-mans aren’t kidding when they say the little ones are potent! I don’t even want to know what end that came out of!”
            “Now you have to help me pick out the most flattering picture of me in a latte, for Instagram. It will be a-latte fun,” said Austin. He pounced once, a hefty attempt at kicking up the dirt around Khan. He barely moved though, and settled for a slow, wiggly stroll towards the others.
            It wasn’t long before they reached the water’s edge. Khan was the first one in, followed by Penny, and Austin, and Luna. Penny and Khan stood, their feet touching the bottom, as Luna, and Austin paddled to the other-side quickly. Bodie and Polar Bear had dropped Hermione and the burrow to the ground.
            “How do we get her over,” said Bodie, his eyebrows raising in concern.
            “If Mother was here, she’d carry her over,” said Polar Bear. “But a King has to learn to do things when she isn’t around.” He stepped closer to the edge, judging the distance, and stepped back. “If Bodie and I can go as close to the edge as possible, and swing the burrow, we can sling shot her to the other side. Khan…Penny, can you two catch her?”
            “Do I love swimming,” said Khan. Everyone looked at him blankly. “The answer’s yes,” he said.
            Once they’d stepped from the water, Bodie and Polar Bear moved to the water’s edge, each one gripping a corner of the burrow. The swung their bodies back and forth, waiting to reach the perfect momentum, and released once Penny yelled, “Three!”
            Hermione and the burrow flew over the watery gap, nearly doing a full somersault in the air. Her weight steadied the burrow, keeping it from tipping, and spilling her out. Khan and Penny caught an edge, although a little uneven, but well enough that Hermione remained safely inside. They sat her on the ground, and Khan poked the burrow with his nose, “You okay in there?”
            “Did I fly,” said Hermione. “I dreamt I was flying.”
            “You sorta flew,” said Luna, and smiled.
            “That was --- A-H-MAZING,” said Hermione. “I felt like Wonder Woman! Mama will want my face plastered all over her shirt now, and not some dumb cartoon hedgehog!”
            “Won’t that be embarrassing,”said Bodie.
            “A super-heroine doesn’t GET embarrassed,” she said. And Bodie suspected, that if she could, Hermione would have been blushing.
            She quickly distracted as she turned her sleepy eyes to the sky. “What’s that,” she said, her mouth forming a small, “o.”
            Everyone looked to the sky, but it was Penny that spoke first.
            “That’s a rainbow. And THAT means good luck!”

Stay tuned for PART III…
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