Tomato Sauce

Just for something different: a children's story.

by Iris Carden

 Sherlock, Mycroft and Watson Wallaby were brothers and they were the world's smartest detectives. That's what it said on their office door: “Sherlock, Mycroft and Watson, World's Smartest Detectives.”

Mrs Maggie, from Mrs Maggie's Pies, went to see them because she had a problem that needed detecting.

“Whatever will I do? I'm in such a flap!” she exclaimed as she hopped around the Detectives' office. “There's no tomato sauce. It just hasn't come. I can't sell meat pies without tomato sauce!”

“Never fear, Mrs Maggie,” said Sherlock. “We are the world's smartest detectives and we will detect your missing tomato sauce and bring it straight to you.”

“Yes, Mrs Maggie, go back to your pie shop. We'll get your sauce,” added Mycroft.

“But before you go,” said Watson, “could you tell us where your tomato sauce comes from, and how it gets to you?”

“Oh yes,” said Mrs Maggie, “it comes from Delia's Delicious Deli. Wally Wombat delivers it during the night, so it's ready for the morning.”

Mrs Maggie went back to her pie shop, while the Wallaby Detectives decided what to do next.

“A terrible crime has been committed,” said Sherlock.

“We don't know that, at all. The tomato sauce may just be misplaced,” said Watson.

“Oh, we do know it,” said Mycroft. “Meat pie with no tomato sauce is always a terrible crime.”

Because Watson decided they should, they went first to Delia's Delicious Deli. They smelled something very delicious cooking. “It's cherry-chocolate-coconut-caramel cake,” Delia told them, “I'm trying a new recipe.”

“I think we should taste that cake,” said Sherlock, “It could be a very important clue.”

“And detecting is such hungry work,” said Mycroft.

“Did Wally Wombat collect the tomato sauce for Mrs Maggie last night?” asked Watson.

“Oh yes, he did. He was a little bit late, and seemed very tired. He said his neighbours had been making a noise all day and keeping him awake,” Delia said.

Watson said they should visit Wally Wombat next. Sherlock and Mycroft each took a large piece of cherry-chocolate-coconut-caramel cake to eat on the way, just in case it really was a vital clue.

They got to Wally Wombat's hollow log, to find it empty. But outside the log was a very big splotch of something very red on the ground. “Tomato sauce!” exclaimed Sherlock.

“Maybe,” said Watson.

“And look,” said Mycroft, “there's more splotches. There's a trail of tomato sauce.”

Sure enough, there was a trail of red splotches. The three detectives followed the trail. It led across Wally's lawn, through a hole in the fence, and right up to his neighbours' front door!

From inside the neighbours' house, the three brave detectives could hear all sorts of yelling, and squabbling noises.

“They're doing something terrible to Wally!” said Sherlock.

“Maybe,” said Watson.

“We have to save him,” said Mycroft. “And just as importantly, we have to save Mrs Maggie's tomato sauce. It's just about time to have a pie and tomato sauce for lunch.”

Watson knocked on the door.

A dingo, with large red splotches on her fur answered.

“Aha!” said Sherlock. “I knew you had it.”

“Excuse me?” said Mrs Dingo.

“We're sorry to bother you,” said Watson. “We were wondering if you could help us. Have you seen Wally Wombat lately?”

“Wally Wombat, no, I guess I haven't seen him since yesterday. He tends to sleep during the day. Although I'm afraid my pups are keeping him awake at the moment.”

“They do seem to be making a lot of noise,” said Watson, “what are they up to?”

Mrs Dingo laughed. “They're supposed to be painting their wardrobe and drawers. I bought them nice, fire-engine red paint. Wally Wombat helped me carry it home a couple of days ago. Right now, there's paint everywhere and on everyone, but none where it's supposed to be!”

“You've even got a trail of paint from Wally's house to here,” said Watson. “I think you have a big clean up ahead of you when the painting's done.”

One of the pups squealed especially loudly. “I have to go,” said Mrs Dingo. “I do hope Wally's all right. He's a very nice old wombat.”

Mrs Dingo closed her door, leaving the World's Smartest Detectives with some more detecting to do.

“I think I know what's happened to Wally Wombat and the tomato sauce,” said Watson.

“Someone has taken them?” said Sherlock.

“No.” said Watson.

“Wally has run off with the tomato sauce?” said Mycroft.

“No.” said Watson.

“Then what?” said Sherlock.

“Come with me.” said Watson.

Watson led them back to Delia's Delicious Deli. Another wonderful smell was wafting out the door, but Watson would not let the other detectives go into the shop to do any detecting there.

“This is the way to Mrs Maggie's Pie Shop,” said Watson. “Look carefully at both sides of the path as we walk along.”

“What are we looking for?” asked Sherlock.

“A sleeping wombat,” answered Watson.

“A what? Why?” asked Mycroft.

“Because Wally is an old wombat, and old wombats get very, very tired. Mrs Dingo's pups were keeping him awake all day, so he was even more tired. We know Wally went to Delia's to get the tomato sauce, so he must have fallen asleep on the way to Mrs Maggie's.”

Just as Watson finished speaking, the Detectives heard a sound like a motor bike revving up. “Oh! What is that terrible noise?” exclaimed Mycroft.

“That,” said Watson, “ will be Wally Wombat snoring!”

And it was.

The tomato sauce was saved! Mrs Maggie could sell her meat pies for lunch – and the World's Smartest Detectives each ate two.

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