Fast forward a few years…
Someone had been filching Susan’s lemon cookies. She always knew exactly how many she had at any given time, and of late, they had been mysteriously vanishing. The larcenous lemon lout had tried to cover up his cookie crimes by rearranging the sugar free, non-artificial sweetener, nuggets of lemon lusciousness. But Susan wasn’t fooled. Not by a longshot. And she knew exactly who to call for help with her dessert dilemma. She knew a lady that knew a guy.
“Give me a hand here” said Jake the Snake to his assistant Brother BudPie, stretching to his full four-inch height. I’ve almost got it” he muttered, as he shifted the push pins in his little mouth. It wouldn’t do to swallow push pins. Jake was attempting to hang the shingle above the door of his new office, proudly proclaiming “Jake the Snake, Super Sleuth Extraordinaire” to be open for business, when the phone rang.
“Jake the Snake, Super Sleuth Extraordinaire” gasped Jake, after his mad dash to answer the phone. “This could be my first case” thought Jake, as he struggled to catch his breath. Too many lemon jellied spiders and not enough exercise was beginning to take its toll.
“Hello Jake, this is Lemon Lady. How’s business?” “Business is good” said Jake. “It would be even better if I had some.” (Jake, always on the lookout for new career opportunities, had, at one point, considered standup comedy, but that came with its own unique set of challenges.) Jake and Lemon Lady went way back. She was like a mother to him, from a time before he could even crawl. She actually taught him how to slither. Lemon Lady lived far away, in Apple Land, and he didn’t get to visit her often, but when he did, what fun they had! She always had a bowl full of spiders for snacks, and they would play such fun games! One of his favorite games was “Spider Fetch”. He also liked “Down the Kitchen Drain and Back up Through the Toilet”, although he was getting kind of big for that. And it didn’t help that he was developing quite the muffin top.
“Jake, I have a friend that needs your help. How soon can you get up to Apple Land?” asked Lemon Lady. The phone fell to the floor as Jake reached for a pen to take notes. “If only I had shoulders” thought Jake, as he picked up the phone. “I need to check with Brother BudPie, he takes care of my travel arrangements. But while he’s getting that set up, maybe you can tell me a little more about the case.” Jake loved official talk. And he loved the idea of being a detective. He’d considered other career opportunities before settling on being a gumshoe. At one point he thought about running away to join the circus, as many youngsters do, to become a juggler. Or going to Vegas to become a blackjack dealer. He even thought about stenography. But none of them excited him as much as being a private D, following in the footsteps of such greats as Boa Bob, Anaconda Annie, and Pete The Python. Jake shook himself out of his reverie. “No time for daydreaming boyo, there’s work to be done.”
“Sorry Lemon Lady, I got sidetracked there for a minute. Lay it on me.” (more hard-nosed, semi-dangerous, jaded but not too jaded detective talk) “Jake, my friend Susan needs your help” said Lemon Lady, with a hint of desperation in her voice. “Her sugar free, non-artificial sweetener lemon cookies are disappearing, into thin air it would seem.” Any crime involving lemon delectables was, to Lemon Lady, serious indeed. Jake would need to get right on this.
“Are we ready to go?” Jake shouted back to Brother BudPie, who was in the back room, which served as a break and conference room. “Just let me finish getting the frosting on this lemon cake” said Brother BudPie, a charming, well spoken, middle aged but still in peak physical condition fellow. Brother BudPie, besides being Jake’s assistant, was his cake decorator, personal secretary, and, more importantly, his principal mode of transportation. It can be a challenge even getting to the bathroom when you have no legs.
The airport in Apple Land, where goodness grows on trees and the Mexican food is superb, sat atop a flat hill, above what Jake now knew was a golf course. He still didn’t understand what the attraction was, but to him, it was a magical place for that is where he first met Brother BudPie, a jovial, even tempered, eye-catching, quite attractive but not in a girl-pretty kind of way, guy.
After a quick stop at Lemon Lady’s, a place that held many good memories for Jake, he and Brother BudPie headed straight to Susan’s house. Time was short, and sugar free non-artificial sweetener lemon cookies were vanishing at an alarming rate. No way was he going to allow anyone to purloin, pilfer, or otherwise swipe those tantalizingly tasty sugar free lemon fondant filled goodies, and get away with it. Especially since he’d just learned that they were also non GMO and gluten free.
When Susan opened the door of her warm, inviting, but not too ostentatious home, she saw an incredibly handsome, well dressed, impeccably groomed, really sweet looking guy. And then, as though from far away, she heard a small voice say “I’m down here. You must be Susan! I’m Jake, and the tall gorgeous hunk is my assistant Brother BudPie. We’re here to solve your cookie crisis.”
Susan looked down, tearing her gaze away from Brother BudPie’s hypnotic eyes, past his tanned, well chiseled, but not too prominent chin, down, down, until she saw the adorable little snake at his feet. Just like the salt melted the ice on her doorstep, her heart melted upon seeing the two little beady eyes that stared up at her. She wasn’t sure, but she thought she heard a little voice say “Good thing I’m not a slug”.
“I think we need to start by visiting the scene of the crime” said Jake. And so Susan, tripping on the entry rug because she couldn’t stop looking at the gallant, knightly, Brother BudPie, whose smile was so bright one could practically hear it sparkle, causing a faint but discernable ‘ding!’, ushered them both into the kitchen. “I keep my cookies in the freezer, and only bring them out, two at a time, each day, for coffee break. I love my coffee break, it’s a time to sit back and reflect on all of life’s…..” “Just the facts, Ma’am, time’s awastin’” piped up little Jake, in his most official detective voice.
“Every night, just before bedtime, I count my cookies, and arrange them just so” said Susan. “And for the last few weeks, my daily inventory shows cookies disappearing faster than I can replace them. Sometimes I try and stay awake to catch the despicable desperado, but he never shows up until after I fall asleep.”
While Jake had his own suspicions, he felt it was better to go where the evidence led. “Why don’t you two go relax in the living room while I attempt to get to the bottom of this” said Jake. And unbeknownst to either of them, he made up his mind to stick around that night and do a snakeout, for what better way to catch a cookie crook than during the commission of the crime? So, when Jake sent Brother BudPie, a faithful, dependable, compassionate man, with only a slight paunch, to the motel down the street, he crawled under the kitchen table and waited.
After Susan had gone to bed, in the wee hours of the night, Jake crept from under the table, and began to follow the trail of crumbs from their source to their destination. For while Susan was an impeccable house keeper, she understandably hadn’t been getting much sleep lately, so yes, there were crumbs on the floor. Jake followed the trail of crumbs. “Hmm,” he thought, “As long as I’m down here, and the crumbs are down here…..” Eating his way along the evidence trail, for the crumbs were truly delicious, Jake the Super Sleuth Extraordinaire soon grew full and sleepy. Before reaching the end of the trail, he thought “Just a little nap would be perfect.” And curling up in the hallway, he closed his beady little eyes, flicked his cute forked at the end tongue a couple times and went to sleep.
Rudely awakened by footsteps in the kitchen, he raced down the hall, just in time to see a shadowy figure, standing in front of the refrigerator, freezer door open. And though the only light was from a Donald Duck night light in the living room, he was fairly sure he recognized the nefarious nighttime nibbler of nutritious yet delicious cookies. Even the fuzzy tiger striped slippers, the Bob’s Burgers robe and the huge curlers could not camouflage the cookie fiend. Of course it was Susan, and of course she was asleep. A sleepwalking, cookie crunching culprit. “My work here is done” thought Jake.
And that’s how Jake the Little Snake, Super Sleuth Extraordinaire, solved the mystery of the vanishing sugar free, non-artificial sweetener, lemon cookies.