I would like to preface this with: For the record, I am not on crack. This is based on actual events. The story is my aunt MC (As in Maria Carmen not Hammer) has been having problems with mice in her attic, so she set some traps. The traps have mysteriously disappeared. Also missing is the charger for her camera and a goat puppet like the ones in the Sound of Music from that goat herder number with Julie Andrews and the kiddies. The goat sings the song (and does a remarkable Julie Andrews impression) and it was a birthday gift for a friend of hers.
So, I give you my latest short story with “The Girls” entitled: I Can’t Find My Goat. Also, this is copyrighted–so no stealing (although why anyone would want to steal this of all things is beyond me…)
“I can’t find my goat.” Adianna shut the sliding glass door behind her and snagged a banana off the counter in Aden’s kitchen. Aden and Aria paused mid conversation and shot her a curious look. Aden’s demanded explanation. Aria’s demanded she be sent to an asylum.
“Your goat?” Aden asked. “Did you check the schoolyard down the street?” Adianna rolled her eyes and plopped down at the table next to her long time friend.
“I only did that in high school; and it was for a senior prank.”
“You seriously have a goat,” Aria asked, incredulity plastered across her freckled face.
“Yes. It’s a remarkable goat really. It’s dressed up in this cute little outfit and it does an uncanny impression of Julie Andrews singing that goat herder song from The Sound of Music.” Once again, Adianna received the Asylum Look. Aden burst out laughing. “It’s a puppet!” She exclaimed. “From that trip to Disneyland. I bought it at this little shop in the park that was going out of business. I was planning on giving it to Jillian for her birthday since she loves that movie so much; but it’s missing! I’m missing a goat!”
“Ok, A) You know the economy’s bad when stores inside DISNEYLAND are going out of business. And 2) The mice probably took it,” Aden reasoned, turning her attention back to her bowl of Cocoa Puffs. Aria looked at her like she had grown three heads.
“The mice in Adi’s attic,” Aden explained.
“There are mice in your attic?”
“Yup. And they’re paying her back for putting those traps up by taking her stuff,” Aden said confidently.
“That goat’s too big for them to carry,” Adianna argued.
“Not if it’s the whole tribe working together. They’re taking the goat and tying it above their shrine with your camera cord.”
“Ok what did I miss?” Aria demanded. Adianna sighed, resting her forehead against the table.
“Alright so for the last month I’ve been hearing this–pitter pattering up in my attic. Now, unless Santa outsourced to the garden gnomes in my front yard I figured it had to be either mice or rats.”
“Santa outsourcing now? Wow, we’re in trouble!” Aden laughed.
“I’m trying to be witty, so shut up.” Adianna snapped. “So, anyway, I decided to have a peek and I opened that trap door in my attic. This mouse, this tiny mouse was hanging onto the little edge of the door as though its life depended on it.”
“It’s life did depend on it,” Aden snorted.
“Well, not really. It slips right? And falls to the ground.”
“Oh my God that’s awful!” Aria exclaimed.
“It lived. So I scooped it into a shoebox and tossed it in the trash. I figured once it regained consciousness it could scurry away and lead a happy life or make camp in the box. I could care less so long as it was out of my house. Ten minutes later I go back out to dump the trash and the box is gone.”
“The box is gone?’
“And so is the mouse.”
“That is freaky,” Aria shook her head. “You’re probably making all this up, but it’s still kind of–strange.”
“No, it gets weirder,” Aden assured her. “She calls me and I give her some spare traps from my little rodent fiasco last year, right? We set them up in strategic locations around her attic and then a week later she goes to check them.”
“I saw one caught in the trap so I called Aden to help me get rid of it.”
“And when I get there, the trap and the mouse are gone.”
“Nope, honest to Buddha truth,” Adianna insisted. “The mouse and the trap–gone. Four of the other remaining nine traps were gone too.”
“That’s weird,” Aria shook her head, leaning back in her chair. “Both the mouse and the trap were gone? And the traps were gone? And the box and the mouse?”
“Yup.” Adianna nodded.
“So I jokingly suggested the mice had found it and taken it back to their little home, right? And they used the box as an altar and are using the traps to build a shrine to their fallen brother.” Aden smirked.
“Because that’s not disturbing at all,” Aria deadpanned.
“And then, when her camera charger went missing I said it was the mice who took it.”
“Wait, the camera charger you were looking for on New Year’s Eve?”
“Yeah, still haven’t found it,” Adianna shrugged.
“And now her goat is missing.”
“Did you check the bags you have from Christmas?” Aria suggested.
“What about the spare room?”
“Now what would I take that thing into the bathroom for?” Adianna demanded.
“Like I know,” Aria retorted. “I’m just suggesting things here” She paused, a thoughtful look crossing her face. You know what it could be?”
“What?” Adianna and Aden chorused.
“I heard on the news about how with so many foreclosures people are sneaking into other people’s attics. Could be someone living above you.”
“Now that’s creepy,” Adianna shuddered.
“Very Nigel Crane,” Aden agreed.
“Who?” Aria asked.
“Don’t you watch CSI?”
“Go watch CSI and get back to me,” Aden instructed, irritated with the fact that her reference to Nick Stokes’ stalker from the hit CBS crime drama went over Aria’s head.
“Well, I’m going to go look for it. Jillian’s party is tomorrow and I’m going to show up empty handed.”
“If all else fails, just tell her we pooled our money and the gift hasn’t arrived yet,” Aden said.
“You haven’t gotten her anything yet have you?” Adianna laughed.
“Alright my lovelies, I’m off to find a goat.” Adianna rose and headed to the back door.
“Check your oven!” Aden called after her.
After a day’s worth of searching, Adianna collapsed on her bed with a heavy sigh. She had looked high and low for that goat, but her efforts were for naught. She pulled the blankets up and buried herself in a nice little cocoon.
High on a hill was a lonely goatherd
Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo
Loud was the voice of the lonely goatherd
Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo
Adianna bolted upright, looking around wildly for the source of the music. She followed the voice of Julie Andrews into her living room; it was coming from the wall; a muffled soprano gleefully singing about a goat herder and his girlfriend. She slowly walked away from the wall, reaching for the phone on the table.
“’Lo?” Came the muffled answer.
“Adi, it’s 3 am. This had better be important.”
“Get over here,” she ordered. Hanging the phone up she tossed it onto the couch and waited.
A few minutes later, a very tired and very annoyed Aden stumbled into the living room, the glare she sent Adianna’s way screaming volumes.
“Listen,” Adianna instructed. Aden impudently crossed her arms over her chest and scowled. The scowl disappeared however, replaced by a look of alarm.
“Where’s that coming from?” She hissed. Adianna pointed at the wall. Aden cautiously approached the bright red surface and pressed her ear to it.
Soon her Mama with a gleaming gloat heard
Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo
What a duet for a girl and goatherd
Maria and the Children:
Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo
“That’s beyond creepy!”
“I know,” Adianna called from the kitchen. Aden walked in and was handed a cup of coffee, which she gratefully accepted.
“What are you going to do?” Aden asked. Adianna didn’t answer. She was staring blankly at the countertop of the breakfast bar. Aden followed her glance and saw two little brown mice perched atop the grey linoleum. Their beady little eyes bore into them from across the kitchen; a knowing gleam across their black surfaces. Adianna swore she saw one of them smirk.
“I think…I’m going to stay at your place for a while.”
“I think that’s a good idea,” Aden nodded slowly.
“If we move slowly, I think we’ll be ok,” Adianna said, gradually moving away from the counter.
“What are they going to do? Lick us to death?”
“They did a pretty good job with the goat,” Adianna reminded her.
“We’re calling an exterminator,” Aden muttered, running towards the sliding glass door.
Odl lay ee, old lay ee
Odl lay hee hee, odl lay ee
Odl lay odl lay, odl lay odl lee, odl lay odl lee
Odl lay odl lay odl lay
©2009 Tobie James