August 19, 2014 – I have been remiss in tracking down Charlotte’s secret admirer. It’s true. My days are so full, that before I have a chance to work on her case, it’s time to hit the roost. I’m going to change all of that and shift solving this riddle to the top of my to-do list…. right behind creating a new flavor for our fall beer line and canning grasshoppers for winter.
A second package came in today’s mail for my friend, the classy and upstanding Miss Charlotte. As before, this one displayed no return address or stamp of origin. Charlotte was not as apprehensive as she was the first time around. In fact, she nearly tore open the box before we had a chance to run it through our security checkpoint.
I slid my long-handled dentist mirror under the packing tape for a little look-see. I didn’t spot, smell or otherwise sense anything harmful, so I took off my colander helmet and pot holders and handed the package back to Charlotte.
“All clear,” I stated eager for her to open it and reveal the contents.
“I wonder what my secret admirer sent me this time?” she gushed; “How exciting!”
Exciting? It’s creepy if you ask me, though I too held my breath as she pulled back the pale pink tissue paper neatly concealing the mysterious token.
“Oh, my!” Charlotte gasped; placing a wing across her string of pearls. (Charlotte fidgets with her pearls whenever she is nervous or wound-up.) “This is lovely indeed. What an exquisite keepsake.”
She reached into the box and gently retrieved a small, porcelain chipmunk.
“It’s a chippy!” I laughed and immediately received a scowl from the elder hen.
“It’s a piece of art!” Charlotte sizzled with an air of sophistication as she watched me shake the box upside down for a note or card. “If you were an art collector like me, you would recognize its incomparable value.”
“Art collector? I didn’t know this about you, Lottie,” I replied, for truly, I did not. She merely huffed in response.
“May I see it?” I asked politely.
I could see a wave of hesitation flash across her eyes.
“To look for a clue,” I added. “I’m sure you want to know who is sending you such extravagant gifts as a T-shirt and a glass squirrel.”
“Porcelain chipmunk,” she corrected, carefully handing the statuette to me.
I gave it a good look over but didn’t see any signs as to the identity of Charlotte’s benefactor. There was simply an oval stamp on the bottom that read, “Made in Taiwan”. I don’t know where Taiwan is, but it may hold the next clue.
I handed the chipmunk back to Lottie and set about the business of tracking down this priceless piece of rodent. Surely, if it is as valuable as Charlotte thinks, there has to be acknowledgement of it on the Internet. I pulled out my tablet and typed in: “Porcelain chipmunks in Taiwan”. From the 10,000 search results that came up, I can tell it’s going to be a long night.