Written by Allison Rose Clark
Sarge was doing the grocery shopping at the local IGA with his wife, Sally, standing in the freezer section, when a lady walked up to them. She wore a bonnet with a bow covering her lovely dark curls, a long tunic with an apron, and was holding a crook.
It was Little Bo-Peep. All the town folk called her affectionately, Bo.
“Hello Sarge and Sally,” Bo greeted them.
“Hello, Bo. It’s good to see you,” Sally replied.
“How are you doing today? Been a while since we seen you in town,” Sarge enquired. He’d noticed she was looking a little tired. Maybe she was experiencing insomnia again, he thought.
“Oh, I’m ok. Not sleeping well since two nights ago, though,” she started. “When I rang the station that night to report my sheep missing, I thought you were right, Sarge. They’d come home wagging their tales behind them. Like they have since the cyclone destroyed the fence four months ago.”
“And have they returned safely?” Sarge curiously asked. Bo appeared to be a little agitated. Something in his gut didn’t sit right.
“Well, yes.” she said.
“See. They know where home is. Maybe they just like to explore,” he suggested.
“I don’t know, but it was a relief indeed to see their chubby bodies coming over the hill into the paddock.” Sarge and Sally both smiled and nodded in agreement that it would be a huge weight to be lifted for sure. But there was something she wasn’t saying. The knowledge that her sheep were alright didn’t dispel the uneasiness he felt.
“Bo, what’s wrong? I can tell you’re worried about something,” Sally asked before Sarge could. She was obviously feeling the same as he was.
“Well,” Bo began. “My dear little sheep did return. Well, most of them, anyway. One was missing.” Sarge and Sally were shocked.
“But you located her, didn’t you?” Sarge questioned.
“That’s the thing, Sarge. I couldn’t find Matilda anywhere!” The hairs on Sarge’s arms stood on end. “I’ve never had any of my sheep be lost before. I don’t know what to do!’
“You name your sheep?” Sarge shouldn’t have been surprised really. Bo named everything living. She even had a large dark-green-leafed plant with a magnificent orange flower the size of a bread-and-butter plate sitting on the front porch she called George.
Sally shot him a don’t!-look, so he withdrew.
“Oh no!” Sally exclaimed. “How horrible! You must be worried sick!” Bo nodded as tears started streaming down her cheeks. Sally gave her a hug to comfort her.
“That is strange indeed, Bo. Strange indeed,” was Sarge’s reply. Could it be possible that one of Bo’s sheep had been stolen? As Small Town Police Station hadn’t announced anything to the public yet, he didn’t want to alarm Bo in that moment. However, the thoughts of the murder victims to-date wouldn’t leave his mind. The killer was still hanging around.
And why sheep? So bizarre!
This case was getting weirder and weirder by the day.
Just then, his mobile rang.
“Excuse me, ladies. I have to take this call,” Sarge excused himself. He walked to the fruit and vege section and answered. It was Matty.
“Thought you’d like to know, Sarge, the coroner’s report is in,” he informed.
“Thank you, Matty. I’ll come in within the next hour. Just out doing grocery shopping with Sal,” Sarge explained. It’s meant to be his day off.
“Sounds like fun,” Matty joked.
“hahaha yea, like a hole in the head!” Sarge laughed. He ended the call and looked towards the two women in the freezer section. One crying and the other consoling.
How was he going to keep everyone safe? he wondered.
A shiver ran down his spine.