By Gordon Berg
Gerald’s Talking Dog loves cherries. That’s all he talks about. But who you gonna call when those beloved cherries mysteriously disappear??? Stormcloud, Private Dog.
Gerald’s Talking Dog, a scruffy mutt named Stormcloud, had a reputation for solving life’s toughest mysteries. The Case of the Lost Keys. The Case of the Lost Cellphone. And…most importantly, The Case of the Lost Bottle Opener.
Now he needed to solve his biggest one yet: The Case of the Missing Cherries.
Stormcloud paced the back porch for answers. The sun had set. The summer moon was on the rise. The smell of a freshly baked cherry pie floated through the screen door and onto the back porch. Until the cherries went missing, Gerald had planned to bake a bunch of pies. Thankfully there were enough cherries left for one lone pie and it was cooling in the kitchen.
Suddenly, Stormcloud caught a new scent in the breeze. A dame. Not just any dame. This was…couldn’t be…both nostrils came to life…”Lola!”
Lola was one classy Great Dane with a body that made every dog drool. Big chest. Tiny waist. And long, slender legs that just didn’t quit.
Stormcloud licked himself, cocked his head to one side and tried hard to look nonchalant.
As she rounded the corner from the driveway next to the back porch…their eyes met.
“Hey, Stormy,” she quietly woofed.
Stormcloud’s heart melted. He got up, walked over to her and sniffed her. She sniffed him back. “Same old Lola,” he wistfully thought to himself.
Stormy broke the silence first. “What’s a great dane like you doing on my side of town?” he asked.
She hesitated. “I know what happened”…her voice broke “…to the missing cherries.” She began to whimper.
Stormcloud perked his ears. He leaned toward her. “What?” he asked urgently.
“I…I…I ate them!” she blurted and she broke into a low, mournful howl.
Stormcloud barked, “You what?!”
“It was a weak moment, Stormy,” she wailed. “I’m so ashamed. I don’t know what to do.” Her head hung low. Her shoulders were shaking.
Then she lifted her eyes and said, “You gotta help me, Stormy. Ya just gotta.”
And for the second time that night, Stormcloud’s heart melted.
Then Stormcloud heard footsteps. Gerald was walking up the driveway. “Think fast!” Stormy cried to himself.
He ran into the kitchen and grabbed the still-warm cherry pie in his jaws and raced to the back porch. Without a second thought, he buried his muzzle deep into the still-warm cherry pie and slurped up as much as he could.
Gerald rounded the corner, looked at Stormy and in disbelief yelled, “YOU!”
Then Gerald pointed at Lola, “YOU! Go Home!”
Gerald spun around again to Stormcloud. “YOU! You’re spending the night outside in the dog house!”
Stormy, head down, ears back and his tail between his legs…winked at Lola. As she turned to leave, she looked back, smiled and whispered, “I’ll be back tonight, Stormy.”
And, for the third time that night, Stormy’s heart melted again.
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