Mystery on Happy Lane

Mystery on Happy Lane

SHORT STORY

The neighbourhood of Happy Lane lived up to its name. It was truly a happy lane. Everyone in the neighbourhood was always smiling and laughing. But since the past few months, the smiles slowly began to disappear and everyone was walking around with long faces.

The neighbourhood was under threat. A thief had been doing the rounds doing what he does best. Stealing. It all began when Mrs Potts began grumbling about some missing tea cups one day. The people in Happy Lane were about to laugh about it, when a few days later Mrs Potts made a bigger noise about losing matching saucers too! The people of Happy Lane went ‘tch tch’ and put their arms around Mrs Potts’ shoulders to console her. After all, that was all they could do.

When she insisted on filing a complaint, the people of Happy Lane said, “The police have bigger fish to catch! Robbers, murderers, rioters and what nots! They will laugh aloud at a few stolen tea cups!”

A few days later, Happy Lane woke up to loud wails and sobs. Six-year-old Dolly stood on her lawn with tears streaming down her cheeks. The neighbourhood rushed out to console her. “A thief has stolen Bobby, my doll,” she wailed. The people of Happy Lane went ‘tch tch’ and put their arms around Dolly’s shoulders to console her. After all, that was all they could do.

The next morning Dolly stood outside and wailed even louder! The thief had now stolen her doll house! “But look at it this way Dolly, Bobby is safe in her own house.” That idea calmed Dolly down.

And a few days later, Happy Lane saw 10-year-old Chug thumping a bush with a stick. Everyone at Happy Lane knew that it meant he was furious! When he calmed down, Happy Lane learnt that he had lost his train.

The people of Happy Lane went ‘tch tch’ and put their arms around his shoulders to console him. After all, that was all they could do. And a few days later, the thief had come back for Chug’s railway track!!

In the coming days, the people of Happy Lane began to lose more of their things. And one day, the people of Happy Lane had enough. The thief had to be caught!

Now, policeman Bob was one of the cleverest policemen the people of Happy Lane and all the neighbouring towns knew. There were stories that he had caught notorious robbers, murderers, rioters and what nots!

The people of Happy Lane asked policeman Bob to help them. “You can now sleep in peace,” he assured them. “The thieving days of the thief will soon be over.” But the thief didn’t seem to be scared of policeman Bob. The first night that the policemen were patrolling the lanes of Happy Lane, the thief had got to work. Clothes from the Dressers’ household had gone missing. By the end of the week, people of the Happy Lane complained of missing jewels, cutlery, books, toys, shoes!

Policeman Bob decided it was time to take this thief seriously. He was obviously dealing with a really clever thief. Cleverer than all the robbers, murderers, rioters and what nots. All the policemen under policeman Bob had to make a report of the activities that took place during their vigil. “I want even the smallest of details,” roared policeman Bob.

Policeman Bob would read the report every day, looking for the slightest clues. But even after many days, policeman Bob remained clueless. One tired morning, with a cup of coffee in hand, policeman Bob looked out of his window. A slight movement caught his eye. It was a cat on the ledge of a building a few blocks away. He was walking gingerly and policeman Bob marvelled at his skill and bravery. Then it suddenly hit him!

“Cat,” he screamed. Everyone in the police station thought he had lost it! “The pressure has got to him. I think he has gone mad,” said one policeman.

Policeman Bob immediately began re-reading the reports and began marking some portions.

 “I didn’t see anything during the night. The only time I suspected something, turned out to be a scampering cat.”

“Everything was still that night. No movement. Suddenly I heard some rustling. I shone the torch and then saw the tail of scurrying cat as it turned round a corner.”

“It was quite funny actually. We heard some sound near the window and were certain it was the thief. We crept up slowly and out jumped a cat!”

That night Policeman Bob told his men that he would be on patrol.  And sure enough when he heard the slightest rustle, policeman Bob followed the sound. He followed it atop stairs, through a narrow opening, on top of the roof and through windows and out again and back through the dark streets and into a hideout.

And when the moment came, policeman Bob shouted, “Freeze!” And there it was. The thief caught red-handed with a jewel in his mouth! And it was none other than a cat!
As you guessed it, the hideout had all the stolen booty of the Happy Lane.

Mrs Potts got her cups and saucers back, Dolly her doll and Chug his train, and all the others their jewels, cutlery, books, toys, shoes...and more.

As for policeman Bob, more than his bravery awards, he was happy that he had made the people of Happy Lane truly happy again!

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