The scene:

1. a blanket under the tree
2. A half eaten picnic on the blanket
3. Quiet surroundings
4. two cars are parked near the road
5. Nobody about

Mystery #1

© By Norma (

"I passed that tree this morning, and there was no one there. Several times I've been by, and still the surroundings are quiet. Nobody about. Now, I'm getting suspicious." These were the musings of the Highway Patrolman.

Jeb was a bit middle-age heavy, and not too eager to make waves anymore, so he just let it go by. The thing that really troubled him, though was that food on the blanket - he could see even from the highway that forks and knives were askew so someone had been there. "Oh, well," said he, "Might as well check it out."

He patted the gun on his side and cautiously pulled in behind one of two parked cars near the road. "Anybody there?" he called as he crept up to the driver's door and peeked in, shining his flashlight even though it was broad daylight.

Everything was silent. Nice car, though, a Mercedes silver. Stealthily he made it to the window of the second one, shined a non-existent ray into the window and knocked against it with the flashlight. Nothing. Nada. This one had a pink cushion inside, and a blue crocheted sweater hanging over the seat. Also, in the floor was a pair of Prada shoes.

Jeb recognized the Pradas, and at first couldn't remember why. Then it dawned on him that he had seen them in the property room at the City's station house when he had to have a conference with the City Chief there, and was curious if anyone would come and claim them.

By now it was mid-afternoon and the lunch on the blanket was pretty rank. But Jeb grabbed up a package of Baked Lays and chomped on them a while, thinking, thinking. Finally, he went back to his car, pulled out the phone and called in his curiosity to a close buddy in the City precinct, since he was State without jurisdiction.

"Hey, Jeb, we've been trying to get you to answer." "That scene you're looking at is the City Chief's rendezvous with the gal who came in claiming the Pradas. He's saying ‘What's that crazy Highway Patrol car driving around and around in this neighborhood? Everytime he drives by, my new gal and I have to get up and run to the bushes. Find out who he is and make up a State crime he can go to.'"

Jeb picked his teeth a little, went back to the blanket and got the other bag of Baked Lays and the rest of a pile of cookies. Sauntering slowly to his patrol car, he grinned, got in, and thought "Next month is election day. Maybe there'll be a perk or two for me."

Mystery #2

© By Swampetta (

The blanket was covered with ants. They were carting away pieces of bologna sandwich and two squirrels were staking out the pickles. The only sounds you heard were some birds twittering and one of the squirrels chattering.

Just up the road there were two cars sitting in the shade of a tree. One was a fairly new Mercedes in that silvery gray color. The other one was a total rust bucket...maybe a Ford, maybe a Chevy...hard to tell because nothing matched.

As the day became twilight the ants finished dragging the bologna and bread away, the squirrels decided against the pickles. They weren't sweet bread and butter pickles they were kosher dills and held no appeal for the squirrels.

Faintly, a voice was heard,,,"I said I had it...why don't you ever listen to me? Serves you right!"

Another voice answered.."Stop shouting,,I have such a headache! I was trying to help you with it. Now, look at me."

As the sky darkened you could just about see the figures that were coming over the hill. "Jack,,, I told you I was handling the damn bucket of water. It was your pride that got in the way and made you grab for it. You see what happens when you try to take something away from a woman who is empowered with her own strength?"

Jill swung the empty bucket and almost smacked Jack with it. He jumped out of the way and said; "I don't know why we had to go up the hill to get the pail of water. We could've stopped at the 7-11 and got a case of Poland Spring. Now I've got to go and get stitches in my head because you tripped me and I fell all the way down the hill. Thanks A lot Jill! You act like an animal."

Jill threw the bucket in the back seat of the Mercedes.

Jack opened the door of the rust bucket and got in. Jill pointed at him and said..."That's the reason you can't afford a decent car. All the stops at the 7-11 for the fancy bottled water is leaving you broke."

Jack looked away and started his car. Jill had her car in gear and flying past him by then. "Tomorrow," Jack mumbled, "That's when I ask Humpty Dumpty to go up the hill with me. He's always sitting on the wall so maybe he'd like the exercise."

Mystery #3

© By Phyllis Ann (

It was 11:45 a.m. when Susie Parker rode her bike past a picnic scene in the park. She often road past the lawn that people used for picnics on Sunday. Today, it was a bit overcast and looked like rain. She was making a loop around the picnic area today for the exercise. Her dog, Rusty, had come along and was trotting faithfully beside her as she ascended the first hill. She wondered why nobody was about and why the picnic was half consumed. It was a peaceful, quiet Sunday morning in the park as most all were at church still.

The parking lot was empty, except for two cars parked side-by-side near the picnic area. One was a Jeep Cherokee with a Dalmatian asleep in the back seat. She noted that the windows were down enough for the dog to get the cool, early May breeze.

The other car was a Honda CRV, windows rolled up tight in case of rain she supposed. No animals were noted in the CRV as she rode by.

Susie imagined herself as a Nancy Drew type and was always inspecting and thinking about her surroundings, especially in the park. As she made her way around the next curve, she noticed a lady and man running as if chasing something. The lady was waving a silver leash in her hand and calling frantically, "Precious, Precious".

Pretty soon Susie passed a German Shepherd running ahead of her like lightning. She looked over her shoulder and saw the man and lady still pursuing, with leash now dragging the ground.

She peddled a little faster, and Rusty picked up speed when he spotted the German Shepherd. Precious saw the Golden Retriever approaching fast, and she stopped dead in her tracks. Rusty came up to her and sniffed her, just as a dog is expected to do. Precious immediately laid down to rest and Rusty did the same, laying beside her.

Soon the man and lady made it to the dogs and quickly put the silver leash on Precious' collar. Precious looked at them as if to say, "What is all the fuss about, and where have you been?"

Susie laughed at the sight of the breathless man and lady and the two nonchalant dogs. The man was fussing about the ruined picnic lunch, the rabbit that the German Shepherd had took off after and his tired state. The lady was exclaiming that she wouldn't leave her dog in the back of her CRV as she was like her daughter.

The man was clearly disgusted and saying he didn't know why Precious couldn't stay in the car like his "Spot".

Susie just rode away smiling, with Rusty following behind like a good dog should.

Mystery #4

© By Marilyn (

He hadn't meant to eavesdrop but she was screaming and their quarrel had drifted over the field to the creekbed where he was working. He had seen them arrive and spread their blanket; he had seen their picnic basket. They had given a quick glance around and not seeing him, had thought they were alone. Would they have settled so quickly if they had known he was nearby?

He had worked all morning, digging and trying to clear the ditch so the water would run through. Tree roots and brush had to be cleared, plus he'd had to move a couple of boulders. He had to admit the distraction of the couple had helped to take his mind off his aches.

Suddenly a quarrel erupted. Lordy, she was loud. Her screeching hurt his ears. He couldn't hear everything she said, but what he did hear would not be words said in Sunday school. The young man hardly said anything, and every few minutes he would approach her with open hands like he was pleading...apologizing.

He was ashamed of himself for watching, but he was curious. He wondered where their argument was headed and what it was about. A mystery. She was very angry and in a fit of rage, she picked up a ketchup bottle and hurled it.

The young man ducked, but not soon enough and the bottle whacked his forehead. With a yowl, he grabbed his head like he was in terrible pain.

The young woman stopped dead in her tracks and her hands flew to her mouth.

The young man bent over, then sank to the blanket.

"Oh, I've hurt you, I've hurt you," she wailed, rushing to him.

She knelt and pulled him to her, taking him in her arms, caressing him, kissing his hands and face.

After a few minutes she grabbed up a napkin and began wiping the young man's face. They kissed.

Young love. He laughed and spent the rest of the afternoon reminiscing.....

Mystery #5

© By Sharon (

Lets meet at the lake she said to he
A picnic sounds just right to me
So each drove there in separate car
They lived apart in towns quite far

Once there a blanket he lay on ground
And she brought the basket around
As they munched an idea he had
Skinny dip in lake not so bad

So off they went to take cool swim
A troupe of scouts spied upon them
They waited for the boys to depart
Growing chilled to the skin did start

The boys hung around hoping to see
Something more than a bare knee
Finally leaving as it grew dark
Taking the clothes as they depart

The man and woman were forced to drive
To their homes nude did they arrive
Their romance halted from that long day
Pneumonia both were forced to pay

By the time both were quite well again
She had taken to drinking gin
Posters appeared in each other's town
Two red-faced people with pants down


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