3D Mystery #8

by HeBo

    Taking a walk anywhere in Hendyville was often filled with adventure and mystery and this day was no exception for Dirty Dingy Daryl.

    “Daryl dear, would you be a sweetheart and run over to Farmer Lou’s and fetch me a dozen eggs?  We’ve got to make Daddy’s birthday cake and I didn’t realize we were all out,” his mother asked while shuffling things around in the refrigerator.

        “Sure Mom –anything for a piece of your cake.  I hope it’s chocolate!”

“Of course...luckily it’s Dad’s favorite too.”

“C’mon Ollie Dog, let’s go.  We’ve got bugs to catch, rocks to skip and cows to tease,” he yelled out to his best friend.

“Daryl, I’m kind of in a hurry, so don’t get distracted,” his mother instructed.

“Of course I won’t, Mom—I promise.  You know me,” he called out trying to beat Ollie through the back gate.

“Yeah, I know him all right,” Mrs. Dalton mumbled to herself.  “Hopefully he’ll be home before dinner.”

            Fetching eggs was one chore that Dirty Dingy Daryl actually loved.  Walking to Farmer Lou’s always made Daryl smile.  It wasn’t getting the eggs that was so great—it was the ‘to and from’ that was so much fun.

Ollie Dog was just as excited.  He also loved this walk.  There were all kinds of neat smells, interesting sounds and funny things to see along this country trail.

As soon as they hit the long dirt path alongside the road, Daryl picked up a stick and threw it ahead.

“Go and get it boy!”

Ollie Dog took off in a hurry leaping forward as fast as he could go.  Fetch was one of his favorite games.  He picked up the stick and quickly brought it back to Daryl.

“You’re such a good boy,” he said to Ollie while giving him a pat on the head.  “Go fetch,” he yelled again as he threw the stick.

As usual, Ollie took off heading right toward the stick, but this time Ollie Dog didn’t stop to pick it up.  He didn’t slow down not even one bit.  He stormed ahead of the stick and even the pond where the two would stop and take a break for Daryl to skip a rock over the calm water.

“Hey wait!  Ollie, what are you doing?  Where are you going?” Daryl shouted, but Ollie Dog did not stop and he didn’t even seem to hear Daryl’s voice.  Instead he turned off the path and ran into the woods.

Daryl did not know what to think.  Ollie Dog always listened to Daryl—always except for this time.  Soon his pup disappeared and Daryl had no choice but to follow him.  He didn’t stop to think where he was going or the promise he had made to his Mom—you know—about not getting distracted.

“Ollie!  Ollie!  Where are you?”

Soon Daryl found himself in the forest with no clear path in front of him or behind him.  It was obvious to Daryl that he not only lost Ollie Dog, but that he himself was lost.

“”Uh oh,” Daryl said aloud.  “Where in the heck am I?  Why does this stuff always happen to me?  OLLIE!” he shouted.  Where are you…are you…are you…”  His echo kind of scared him.

“Woof!  Woof!”  Finally Daryl heard his dog in the far distance.

Daryl struggled through the thick understory of the woods, getting caught on sticker bushes, jumping across creeks, criss-crossing over fallen trees and even losing a shoe at one point.  But he kept forging forward following the bark that finally seemed closer.

At last Daryl could see ahead of him.  There was a clearing and there off in the distance was Ollie.

“Oh, thank you God!  I found Ollie!” Daryl said to the good Lord.  (He always helped Daryl out of trouble way too many times to count.)

“Ollie Dog—COME,” he commanded.  But Ollie just stood there barking like crazy.

“Ollie, what are you barking—WHOA!” he screamed as he lost his footing and slid down a long, slippery, muddy and very steep hillside.

Daryl tried to grab onto something, anything, to slow down his fall and keep him from landing into the muddy lake he could see below.

“HELP! HELP! HELP!” he cried.  But it was of no use.  Daryl was heading straight toward that water and he could not stop.

“SPLASH!”  Right into those muddy waters he went, all the way up to his waist.  As quickly as he landed, so quickly he tried to get out…quickly he tried to get out…quickly…but there was no ‘quickly’ about it.  He was stuck.  The mud was so thick at the bottom of the lake that he couldn’t move.

“Woof!  Woof!” Ollie Dog barked from the top of the hill. “Woof!  Woof!”

“Well, are you going to come down here and save me, you big goof?  C’mon, help me, there is no one else around.”

“Grrrr,” Ollie growled.  “Woof!  Woof!  Woof!”

“What the heck is wrong with you?” Daryl by this time was getting kind of scared.

Ollie Dog just froze in his tracks and stared straight ahead at something else that was in the water with Daryl.

Slowly Daryl turned his head to see exactly what his dog was barking at.  Then he spotted it, but he didn’t know what ‘it’ was.  Whatever it was, it was coming closer to Daryl.  All he could see were eyes—two big eyes poking out of the water and looking directly into his.

He finally realized where he must be—Ole Man Powner’s pond!  The same pond that Mr. Powner warned Daryl and his pals about—the pond that had giant gators in it.

“Ollie, you better help me right now!  Come here and pull me out of this mess before I get eaten by an alligator.  I don’t want to be alligator food.  I want to have a piece of my mommy’s cake!”

Daryl squeezed his eyes shut as tightly as he could and started to pray as he felt the gator breathing on his neck.

“Go away, go away.  I taste bad!”

“Ahhhhhhh!  Huh?  What?”  Daryl finally managed to open one of his eyes a little bit as he felt himself being lifted up and out of the water finally freeing him from the muddy mess.

He could not see what was saving him, but at least he knew it wasn’t eating him–at least not yet.

“Hey, could it be?” he wondered out loud.  Just then Daryl was gently lowered to the bank and a great big tongue licked him across his face.

“Mudzy, it that you?” Daryl said popping his eyes wide open.

Yep, it was Mudzy, the same mud monster that had saved Daryl once before.

“It is you!  Good Mudzy—you’re still friendly, I hope.”

And with that, Mudzy gave him another big lick.  And Daryl gave Mudzy a great big hug—a big muddy one.  Daryl had never been so dirty before in his whole life and that is saying a lot—Dirty Dingy Daryl actually looked like a mini mud monster.

“Now what?” Daryl exclaimed.  “I’m stuck at the bottom of this hill.  I’m covered with mud.  I don’t have any eggs.  Great—I’ve lost my other shoe.   And for sure I’m gonna be late, but least I found my dog.  Mudzy can you help?”

And as if he understood, the big mud monster threw Daryl up onto his back and by some mysterious way, Daryl found himself on the familiar path right in front of Farmer Lou’s mailbox.  Ollie Dog was at his side calmly sitting there as if nothing had happened.  Daryl looked around, but there was no sign of Mudzy.

“Where did he go Ollie?  How does that mud monster do it?  He appears and disappears out of nowhere!  Mudzy, where are you?” DDD called out.

“Hey Daryl, I just got a call from your mother—she was wondering where you’ve been.”  It was Farmer Lou pulling up in his truck. 

“Hop on in.  I’ve got your eggs and can give you a lift home if you’d like,” the kind old man offered.

“Uh, sure, but I’m a little bit dirty as you can see,” Daryl said looking around trying to catch another glimpse of the mud monster.

“Would you rather ride in the back bed with the chickens?”

Now that was an offer Daryl couldn’t refuse.  Farmer Lou lowered the gate for Daryl and Ollie to climb on board.  Soon Daryl found himself rumbling down the road.  All his problems seemed to have disappeared.  He hoped his mother wouldn’t be too mad at him and still had time to make the cake.  But what was most on his mind was that mud monster.  ‘How in the world does he get around and how come he knows whenever I’m in trouble?  Has anyone else ever seen him before?” Daryl thought and thought.

But there was no time for answers, at least now, because presently the truck came to a halt right in front of the Dalton house.

“Happy Birthday Donald.  I hear it’s you big day,” Farmer Lou shouted out.

“Thanks, Lou…and thanks for bringing the boy home.  No telling what kind of story he has to tell us this time.”  The two men laughed as Daryl and Ollie jumped out the truck.

“I’ve got eggs, Mom—and none of them are broken this time,” Daryl called out running across the front yard.  “Thanks for the ride, Farmer Lou.”

With that, Rosemary Dalton could finally make her famous chocolate birthday cake.  And Daryl could take a bath—a bath that he sure did need after hanging out with a friendly, but very muddy mud monster.