Thorn Splinter and the Case of the Missing Beaver

Thorn Splinter, private eye, propped his feet on his desk and fiddled with the cigarette in his hand. He lit it and listened to the rain patter outside his office window.

It was going to be another long and lonely Friday evening.

Suddenly, he heard a knock on the door.

In stepped tragedy wearing boots and a toga. Her name was Dolores, and she had a face like an angry beaver with bad wi-fi.

She marched straight up to his desk, leaned over it, glared at him, and demanded, “Thorn! What have you done with my poor dear Norbert?”

“Sorry … with who?” Thorn muttered, evasively.

“You know damn well who!” Dolores threw her arms in the air. “My emotional support beaver, Norbert.”

Of course, Thorn knew Norbert. As long as he’d known Dolores, she’d been lugging that damn beaver around. He’d fantasized about packing the thing up in a crate (not wooden, of course), and mailing it to Canada. But even so, he’d never lain a finger on the beaver, and there was no way in Hell he was taking the rap for the missing rodent.

“Dolores, I haven’t a damned idea where your beaver might be. Where do you last remember him? And, perhaps as importantly, why are you dressed liked that?”

“I just came from the Firehouse Theatre. I’m Antigone! The audience loved me! I got a standing ovation,” she exclaimed proudly.

A confused look crossed her face.

“Now what is it?” asked Thorn.

“I just remembered. I brought Norbert with me to the theatre. I had left him in my dressing room. His tummy was upset, so I couldn’t leave him home.”

“Ha ha! Mystery solved,” declared Thorn. “Your beaver was always safe from me.”

“Oh, but poor Norbert must be so frightened out there, all alone. And in the theatre district, of all places.”

“You’re right,” Thorn said, “I hadn’t thought of that. Men in the theatre just don’t know what to do with a beaver.”

One phone call to the Firehouse Theatre later and Norbert was once again safe in his owner’s arms, contentedly gnawing on the pencil that Thorn offered him as a bribe to coax him out of his cage.

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