June 1, 2014 – I am exhausted. A colossal wave of jet lag slammed into me somewhere between Charlotte and Addie’s wails of indignity as they were being frisked and interrogated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and 2:00 this morning, when I was on the phone with a provincial magistrate pleading for him to disregard Wilma’s biting tongue because in reality she really is a sweet curmudgeon. By 7:00 AM the powers that be released our flock without prejudice. I phoned Mom and convinced her to stay put in New Hampshire. The catastrophe of her chickens rotting away in a windowless jail deep inside the lovely city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, had been averted.
Before we left the police station, the Commissioner – a pleasant man by the name of Angus McManus, brought us into a conference room to explain the details of last night’s raid.
It seems that Dumpling Longfeather, albeit a talented photographer, is better known throughout the criminal world as Carlotta Azalea Jones, drug trafficker and con artist. She’s not even Canadian! She hails from a small village in Nicaragua. The Nicaraguan government has been chasing her down for years. Her intention was to pack illicit contraband into our group suitcase, thinking that customs would overlook a group of chickens boarding a private jet to the States. From there, she would sell it to her American contacts. She already had someone waiting in Manchester to scoop up our luggage. He would have stolen my piccolo! That person has been caught and arrested.
I’m still flabbergasted that she thought 17 chickens adorned with pocketbooks, pearls, sunglasses and a couple of berets wheeling a rollaway suitcase through a busy airport terminal weren’t going to rouse attention. Are you serious? I would have pulled us over!
The good news is that they have enough evidence on Dumpling to put her away for a long time. I asked Commissioner McManus what tipped him off to Dumpling’s plan.
“I suspected fowl play when a bellhop at the hotel next door overheard a buff colored hen telling the concierge that two of her flock members had been kidnapped and sent to France. France was the last place Carlotta was spotted before the trail went cold.”
Our hearts were heavy by the time Commissioner McManus completed his debriefing. We had been so excited to take this vacation and in the end we were disposable pawns in an international racketeering scheme. He must have noticed how deflated we were because before he left he gave us a wonderful surprise.
“I am so sorry that you were caught up in this mess,” he began, “but had it not been for your eagerness to see our beautiful country, Carlotta Jones would still be on the loose. I would like to thank you on behalf of the people of Canada and invite you to stay in Nova Scotia another day with our compliments to tour our picturesque province and meet our fine upstanding citizens.”
We graciously accepted his invitation since Mom had already contacted our family in Antigonish and told them we would arrive there tomorrow morning. Tonight, we are going back to our hotel room to feast on lobster and blueberry pie before getting a much needed good night’s sleep.
On the walk back to the Harbourfront , Peaches linked wings with me and Sawyer.
“I’m not letting you two out of my sight,” she whispered.
I reached into my satchel and pulled out the white paper bag. There was a half of a chocolate croissant left uneaten. It was probably stale, but I gave it to Peaches anyway. I missed her.