by Monica Albertson
from Peg Cochran's Cranberry Cove Series
It's Thanksgiving Day in Cranberry Cove:
Mittens, my black and white kitten, was bounding from one side of the kitchen to the other—crawling into the empty paper grocery bags, batting a twist tie around the floor and generally getting into anything and everything she could.
“Should we start the cranberry sauce now?” Gina asked, tying an apron over her leopard print dress.
“Good idea." I wiped my hands on a paper towel. I'd just finished mixing the sage and sausage stuffing for the turkey. “I’ll get the bag of berries.”
I opened the refrigerator and peered inside. Nothing. I searched the top of the kitchen table where ingredients for all the Thanksgiving dishes were spread out. Still nothing.
“I can’t find the cranberries,” I declared, hands on hips.
“Maybe Tempest made them disappear,” Gina said, but with a good-natured tone to her voice.
Tempest laughed. “Half the people in town think I’m capable of that, but I hate to disappoint you—I’m not.”
I continued to look around the kitchen. The berries had to be there somewhere. I took a step and felt something squishy under my foot. I bent down to look.
“Look! It’s a cranberry. Now where did that come from?”
Gina pointed at the floor. “There’s another one.”
“And another one,” Tempest said, following the trail down the hall.
“What’s going on?” Gina asked.
I smiled. “I think I know.” I tracked the cranberries down the hall, into the living room and behind the sofa. “I’ve found them,” I said, reaching behind the couch for the plastic bag of berries. There was a small hole torn in the corner of the bag that read Sassamanash Farm.
“How on earth did they get back there?” Gina asked.
“Yes, I can’t imagine,” Tempest said.
I pointed at Mittens, who was sitting by the heat register, innocently grooming herself.
“That’s our culprit right there,” I said and laughed.