"The Case of the Turkey Bandits," from The Case of the Kidnapped Collie (Hank #26)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 | By John R. Erickson

Turkeys and hank for blog


Dear Hank-Fans,

You think turkeys are nice? Hank knows differently: 


From "The Case of the Kidnapped Collie": 

    "He sat down beside us and gave me his usual silly grin. “Hi Hank. I guess I fell asleep. Did I miss anything?”

    “You missed everything, Drover. I’ve just blown this case wide open.”

    “I’ll be derned. Which case?”

    “The Case of the Turkey Bandits, and if you want to learn more about it, just sit and watch.”

    “Yeah, ’cause a potted watch never boils.”

    I stared at the runt. “What?”

    “I said . . . I’m not sure what I said.”

    “Something about ‘boils.’”

    “Oh yeah. I had a boil once, right on my hiney.”

    “I’m sure that was very painful, Drover, but this is not the time or the place to discuss it.”

    “I couldn’t sit down for a whole week.”

    “I’m in the midst of a very important interrogation, so please hush.”

    At last he hushed and I whirled back to the cat. I couldn’t keep an evil smile from forming on my lips. My patience had been rewarded. At last I had this cat exactly where he wanted me.

    He was watching. “You’re smiling, Hankie. Did I say something funny?”

    “It’s an inside joke, Pete. I don’t think you’d understand and I don’t have time to explain it. Sorry. You can run along now. I’ve completed my interrogation.”

    “Oh? But Hankie, I thought you wanted my advice.”

    I burst out laughing. “Advice? Me, take advice from a cat? Ha! You must have me confused with some other dog.”

    “But Hankie, you said . . .”

    “Hey Pete, we’ve been watching those thieving turkeys for days and weeks, just waiting for the right moment to spring my trap.”

    “My goodness, Hankie, I’m impressed.”

    “You should be, Kitty, but wait until you hear the entire plan. It will blow your doors off.”

    “Mercy, and I don’t even have any doors.”

    “Exactly.” I began pacing. “Okay, Pete, listen closely. Don’t you get it? Those turkeys were STEALING Sally May’s corn, and they were doing it in daily broadlight!”

    Pete let out a gasp. “My goodness, Hankie, I never would have thought of that.”

    “Ha! Of course not, but that’s why I’m here, Pete, and that’s why you chose to bring this information to the Head of Ranch Security. You came to the right place, pal, and even though you won’t get any credit for it, you and I will know that you played a small but insignificant part in saving Sally May’s corn from the thieving turkeys.”

    “Oh thank you, Hankie.” He studied the claws in his left paw. “Will you have to . . . well, chase the turkeys away? Run them off and bark at them?”

    I gave him a wink and a smile. “Hey Kitty, you’re starting to catch on. Keep it up and I may find a little job for you.”

    “Oh my, wouldn’t that be fun!” He grinned at me and batted his eyelids several times. “But don’t you think you should wait until the Famous Bird Dog comes? Turkeys are birds, you know, and you’re not a bird dog.”

    “Hey Pete, that brings us to Part Two of my two-part plan.” I stopped pacing and stuck my nose right in his face. “Beulah seems to be impressed by bird dogs, right? Turkeys are birds, right? I save Sally May’s precious corn from the thieving turkeys, win her total devotion, and . . . Miss Beulah watches the whole adventure from her box seat in the pickup. Is that an awesome plan or what?”

    Get this. Pete was so overwhelmed and blown away by my awesome plan that he fell over on his side. “Oh Hankie, you may be a genius.”

    “I’m glad you finally realize that, Pete, and I’m sorry it took you so long. It’s called Getting Two Bird Dogs With One Stone. You stay here and watch, because somebody on this ranch is fixing to learn a painful lesson.”

    “I’ll bet on that.”

    I was all set to go streaking off on my mission, my very important mission of breaking up the gang of Turkey Bandits, when all at once Drover spoke.

    “Hank, wait, there’s something I’ve got to tell you! It’s a trap.”

    I throttled back on my rocket engines and stared at the little mutt. “What’s a trap?”

    “The turkeys and the corn. It’s a trap.”

    Pete and I exchanged secret smiles. “Drover, it’s too bad that you chose to sleep through the briefing and the planning session for this mission.”

    “Yeah but . . .”

    “Don’t interrupt. The mission has already begun. In fact, we’re in the Countdown Phase at this very moment. You have about fifteen seconds to state your case, if you have one.”

    “Oh my gosh, I hope I can . . . let me think here. Corn. Sally May put out some corn.”

    “We’re aware of that, Drover, and don’t bother to tell us that the turkeys are stealing it, because we know that too.” “But Hank, it’s a trap. See, Sally May was trying to . . . EEEE-YOW!”

    That was odd. All at once, Pete stuck his paw through the hogwire fence and delivered a handful of claws to Drover’s tail section. The little mutt jumped straight up into the air and took refuge behind me.

    “Hank, did you see that? He slapped me!”

    Pete blinked his eyes and grinned. “Well, just darn the luck. My claws went off, like a loaded mousetrap. Maybe that was the trap he was talking about, Hankie.”

    “Hmmm, yes. It does fit, doesn’t it?”

    “Yes it does, and his fifteen seconds are up, Hankie, and you’d better go save Sally May’s corn.”

    “Good thinking, Kitty.”

    Drover was hopping around like a . . . I don’t know what. A grasshopper, I suppose, a grasshopper that kept repeating the same meaningless phrase: “Yeah-but, yeah-but, yeah-but!”

    “Drover, try to control yourself. You’re embarrassing me.”

    “Yeah but . . .”

    “I’m about to leave on a very important mission.”

    “Yeah but . . .”

    “And will you stop saying that? You’re driving me nuts.”

    “Yeah but . . .”

    “Okay, pal, that did it! Go to your room immediately and stay there for fifteen minutes.”

    “Yeah but . . .”

    “Thirty minutes. An hour? Two weeks? What does it take?”

    “A trap!”

    “Okay, fine. Go sit in a trap for thirty minutes. I’ll look you up when I’ve finished with these thieving turkeys.” I pushed him aside and throttled up my engines. “See you later, Pete, and thanks for the tip.”

    And with that, I hit Full Throttle on all engines and went roaring off to intercept the enemy. Sally May would be SO PROUD! Whether Pete knew it or not, he had given me a great opportunity to pile up some Goodie Points with the lady of the house. You might recall that our relationship had experienced its share of... well, ups and downs, shall we say.

    Tiny misunderstandings that had grown into something fairly serious. Sometimes, when she looked at me and one side of her upper hp rose into a snarl, I even got the feeling ... well, that she just didn't like me.

    And I, being a very sensitive dog beneath all the muscle and bone and hair and so forth, had almost worried myself sick about it, had hardly been able to sleep for weeks and ...

    Okay, I'd caught myself a little nap that very afternoon, but only because sheer exhaustion had finally dragged me down.

    But the point is that I was now on a mission to save her precious corn from marauding bands of wild turkeys. You see, that bucket contained the family's entire supply of food for the winter.

    Yes. She was drying it, preserving it for the long cold winter months-months of wind and snow and snowy wind, months when her precious children would wake up in the morning, cold and hungry and crying for bowls of dried corn.

    Gee, I sure hoped that Baby Molly grew some more teeth. She only had three or four teeth, and she would need a pretty good set to chew up that dried corn.

    Even horses have trouble chewing dried corn.

    Well, by the time I roared past the trees in the shelter belt, bending them almost to the ground in the wake of my powerful engines, I had worked myself up into towering rage.

    Anyone who would steal food from innocent children would have to deal with Hank the Cowdog.

    Zooming south from the shelter belt, I began picking them up on VIZRAD (Visual Radar). Holy smokes, I'd never seen so many wild turkeys in one bunch. There must have been fifty of them!

    Whole families. All sizes and shapes. Hens, toms, and whatever you call the young' uns. Squabs? Chicks? Poults? Turklings? it didn't matter what they called themselves. To me they were all thieves and robbers, and their actions were proving it. They were pushing and shoving and fighting for the right to steal Sally May's entire winter ration of food.

    They would pay for their greed and gluttony, and fellers, I was going to enjoy collecting the rent....


To read the rest of "The Case of the Turkey Bandits", be sure to check out The Case of the Kidnapped Collie (Hank #26)! Click here to buy it in Hank's Store

...or on one of the links below to buy it as an ebook: 

Book 26 for the Kindle (Amazon)

Book 26 for the iPad (iTunes)

Book 26 for the Nook (B&N.com)


And, for a great Thanksgiving Hank book, take a look at The Case of the One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse (Hank #8). Click here to buy it in Hank's Store

...or on one of the links below to buy it as an ebook: 

Book 8 for the Kindle (Amazon)

Book 8 for the iPad (iTunes)

Book 8 for the Nook (B&N.com)

Tags: Hank the Cowdog books
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