Local Shirriff Case File Number 7

Post date: Oct 26, 2012 11:28:41 AM

by Local Shirriff Mellam Hollytoes, investigating officer 

A Beast of a different colour: 

This was a very strange investigation from the start but one that was very interesting. It all started late on night when my cousin Hallum was closing up the Gardening Goblin for the night. Hallums friend Taleboot Took was slightly the worse for wear, so Hallum was going to see him home. Now Hallum had had one or two himself that night, so the journey down the hill was not as straightforward as it should have been.

Just after they had past the homestead sign post, a loud screech was heard coming from behind them. They both turned to see (in their words), a terrifying beast with pale fur and large teeth rearing up at them.

At this point I noticed both witnesses gave slightly different version's of what occurred. Taleboot insisted the 'Beast' ran through the homestead gate, while Hallum thought it jumped over the high border hedge. After this both ran to Taleboots burrow where they finally ended up cowering behind the front room couch. It was not till the following morning did they venture out to report said incident to me. Well after I gave them some biscuits and a large cup of tea, they told me the above story .

Afterwards I went to investigate the seen of the sighting of the 'Beast'. As I checked the ground near the homestead sign post, I noticed a couple of things. Some normal shrew like paw marks, hobbit foot prints, and some indentations beside them. All very odd but nothing to indicate said 'Beast', so I carried on searching the area. Close by was the remains of a yellow powder, which when I wetted appeared to be some form of dye. All very puzzling indeed but also very intriguing which made me want to find the answer.

As I stood and pondered the clues Basil Goodbody walked by with some other hobbits carrying pots of dye, party lanterns, sheets of coloured glass, and some wooden trestles. I bid them good day and asked what was going on. Basil informed me they were preparing things for the coming festivities at the 'Gardening Goblin'. Looking at what was being carried I asked Basil if any yellow dye was missing. He gave me a surprised look but told me yes a pot of yellow dye had been spilt. At which point he pointed to the spot I had checked earlier.

He then told me under some careful prompting that some glass sheets, a trestle, and a few lanterns, had been left by the homestead sign post. It seems two of the helpers were a bit keen to get home for tea and had forgotten them.

It all now was coming together but I needed one more bit of information from Basil. When he confirmed what I suspected I know knew what had happened the night before.

Gathering Hallum and Taleboot from my burrow I led them out to where I knew a colony of shrews were. I told them to watch and wait, and both gave me an odd look but complied. Then after nearly an hour a bright yellow shrew appeared from its burrow. Hallum and Taleboot looked at me as I told them their was the 'Beast'.

“No” they cried the Beast was huge, not little like that shrew. I smiled and then told them what had actually happened the previous night.

The shrew had crept into the homestead looking for food, when it spotted the dye pot. I bit in to it which made the dye powder explode all over the shrew. At this point Hallum and Taleboot had reached the homestead sign. Said shrew let out a terrified cry as the dye covered it and reared up. It was standing in front of one of the lanterns[which had been left lit] but behind the glass panes. The panes magnified its image making it look much larger, and this is what the two saw.

Afterwards the shrew ran away escaping from the homestead, while Taleboot and Hallum ran down the hill screaming.

So their you have it case solved I told the pair, who looked only partially convinced. They both went away thanking me but I did hear them mutter to one another as they left.

Well I'm convinced the case is closed but who knows if everyone else will be. Just let me know if you spot any 'Beasts of a different colour', and I'll get right on it.

Report ends: Local Shirriff Mellam Hollytoes investigating officer.

Signed Mellam