The Mysterious Noise

by Stephanie V. Moody

Benjamin wanted a big dog, a brave dog... a giant of a dog.

What he had was a small dog, a tiny dog, a pip-squeak of a dog.

Ben’s friend Marcus had big dog,Tracker. Tracker barked ARF, ARF.”

Ben’s friend Sam had an even bigger dog, Brutus. Brutus barked, Bow, Wow, Wow.

Ben’s dog Squirt didn’t bark at all. He squeaked yip, yip,yip.

Every time Ben and Marcus and Sam walked their dogs together, Marcus and Sam bragged about their dogs.

“My dog Tracker is a good hunter.” said Marcus. “He can find anything with his nose.”

“My dog Brutus is a strong dog,” Sam said. “He can protect me from danger.”

“Together our dogs would make a good team,” said Marcus. “We should form a club, a canine club. Tracker would find things and Brutus could help us. We could solve mysteries.”

“What about Squirt?” asked Ben. ”What could he do?”

“That pip-squeak said Sam. “He is good for nothing. He looks like a mouse or a mop.”

“Or a mistake,” said Marcus.

Ben knew they were right. Squirt was a mistake, a big little mistake.

The next day the boys set up a table at the entrance of their apartment building.

It said:

Canine Detective Agency

featureing Tracker & Brutus

No Case too Big

“Come on boys. Help me,” Mrs. Rodriquez said, rushing out of the apartment building where they all lived. “There is a strange noise in the basement -- a mysterious noise. Help me find out what it is.”

“Make way. Make way,” said Sam. “We can solve your mystery. If it is a burglar, Brutus will catch him.

Brutus is big and strong.”

Sam and Brutus started down the basement steps. Marcus and Ben followed with their dogs. Mrs. Rodriquez went along, too. Scratch scratch, scratch went the mysterious noise. Brutus growled and barked. Bow, Wow, Wow, but he couldn’t find what was making the noise.

“Let Tracker try,” said Marcus. “Tracker will use his nose to find out what’s making the mysterious noise.”

Tracker sniffed the air. Then he barked ARF, ARF. He had the scent. There was something over there, hiding between the furnace and the wall -- something that scratched, scratched, scratched on the floor.

Tracker barked and growled and whined, but he could not get it out. He was too big.

Ben looked at Squirt. If Tracker was too big, then Brutus was too big. Maybe Squirt would be just right.

“Go get it, Squirt,” Ben urged.

Squirt barked yip, yip yip. Then he squeezed into the small opening between the furnace and the wall.

A strange noise came from behind the furnace. Grrrrr! Yeooooow! Yip

A strange noise came from behind the furnace. Grrrrr! Yeooooow! Yip

Yip! Squirt was fighting with something, something mysterious. All of a sudden the noise stopped. Ben’s heart thumped in his chest. Was Squirt all right?

Squirt didn’t answer. What had happened to Squirt?

Ben saw Squirt’s tailfirst. Squirt was backing out of the hole, dragging something behind him.

“My turtle. My turtle, “ Marcus cried. “Squirt has found my turtle. I thought it was lost forever. Oh, good dog, Squirt.”

Marcus scratched Squirt between his ears. “You’re a brave dog,” he said. “My turtle snaps.”

“You’re a clever dog, too,” Mrs. Rodriquez said. “You found out what was making the mysterious noise.”

Ben scooped Squirt up in his arms.

At last, at last, Squirt was good for something.

The next day the boys made a new sign for their detective agency.

It said:

Canine Detective Agency

No Case Too Big

or Too Small

They did not have to wait long for their next case.

They did not have to wait long for their first customer.