October 3, 2013 – After our initial success, we’ve been itching to get back to work on the brewery, but we need to maintain a relaxed attitude until this molt has passed us by. It didn’t stop us though, from taking a casual walk into the woods today to check on our equipment. Our fermenters were fine; still covered up in the protective sheet we tossed over them last week. Leaves crunched underfoot as we toured the perimeter of our production site. We walked the short distance from the brewery to the clearing where our moonshine distillery is set up. There, we were surprised to find a completely different scenario. Not only had the still been tampered with, evident by the dying embers below it, but a half-empty gallon of hooch lay resting beside a granite boulder. Charlotte picked up the jug and gave it a good whiff. “It’s a fresh batch, alright!” she remarked backing away from the intensity of its vapors. “What in…” Bo muttered picking up an amber-toned quill. “That’s a rooster feather!” Waffles exclaimed. She was right. It was a bantam size sickle feather that looked remarkably like the ones which arch over the middle of Tim’s tail. I had a bad feeling about this. “You don’t think he’s gone rogue on us, do you?” Sawyer whispered in my ear. In my heart, I didn’t think so, but the evidence was damning. We started to search for our wayward friend, when I notice a tuft of black fur clinging to the end of a sapling branch. I didn’t need my tweezers or my microscope to determine it was feline. My heart started to pound. The scraggly lot of us stretched out in a grid formation to cover as much territory as possible. A half mile later and the smell of cat permeated my senses. We weren’t far. I hopped down over a dirt-covered slope that ran alongside a woodland stream and spotted them. There, passed out against the base of a gutted oak tree was the biggest, most hideous cat I’d ever seen. A few trees over was Tim, tied to a hemlock by the rusted ends of a bungee cord. His beak was wrapped in a stretch of old fly paper but he was otherwise unharmed. I signaled to the others to approach quietly. Tim was so relieved to see us. We freed him, hugging and kissing him in relief. “Let’s get out of here!” Addie instructed. “What about the feline?” Wilma spat. We agreed to tackle that beast another day. On the way home, Tim told us that he had seen smoke rising up from the woods where our still was located and had gone to check it out. The cat pounced on him from behind a rock and forced him to cook up a batch of firewater. Tim said that the furry thug stashed twenty gallons of our moonshine under a footbridge not far from where we found them. Tomorrow, we deal with the business. But tonight, we’re all about Tim. Sawyer is whipping up a friendship casserole sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.
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