We discovered the clues one by one.
We uncovered them in perfect order.
On the same day we toured the Winchester Mystery House, my friend Laura and I had an impromptu mystery party in my back yard.
We were in the garden to check out the pumpkins and I noticed our flattened beach ball. We’d tossed the ball around the yard for weeks, so I was puzzled to see it completely deflated. On further inspection, it was full of small puncture holes.
I’ve read that rats will chew on anything to get water, even beams in an attic. Apparently they decided to have a drink at the expense of the beach ball. Darn rats!
Laura then looked over my shoulder and exclaimed, “What happened!?”
Across from the vegetable garden, half of the baby tears had been folded back on themselves, along the rock wall. Neighborhood squirrels must have been looking for buried nuts. We flipped back the layers, watered and tamped the plants into place. Darn squirrels!
“Oh no!” Laura yelled, sounding even more concerned. Our next clue! A corner of our new lawn was now a muddy mess. Layers of sod also folded back on itself. Laura mentioned that crows will dig up grass to unearth the worms and grubs below. It made perfect sense. I see a pair of crows each morning outside my kitchen window, eating worms they’ve pulled up out of the grass. Apparently they moved on to a new patch of grass. Darn crows!
Together we patted down the sod as best we could, then headed inside to wash our hands when I saw one last clue: perfect little raccoon prints leading from the grass to the fountain. The marauder probably stopped at the fountain to wash his muddy hands. Darn raccoon!
It’s a good thing this wasn’t a court of law, as I had mentally tried and convicted rats, squirrels and crows, before discovering the unmistakable hand-like prints of the raccoon.
Can’t you just picture the little line up at the county jail?