Kids’ Book of the Month: A Short Story about Tobin and Lemonade by Melissa Savage

Kids’ Book of the Month: A Short Story about Tobin and Lemonade by Melissa Savage

My name is Tobin Sky.

I’m ten and a half and I’m the CEO and Founder of Bigfoot Detectives Inc. in Willow Creek, California. I’ve handled all of Willow Creek’s Bigfoot sightings since 1974. Last summer this chatty girl named Lemonade Liberty Witt moved in across the street and I made her my Assistant Bigfoot Detective.

We call her Lem for short.

She’s mostly okay. There are a lot of things I like about her, but there are some things I’ve had to get used to. Like she asks way too many questions, she always takes Twinkie snack cake breaks and she’s late a lot for her shifts at the Bigfoot Headquarters.

And today is no different.

She’s late, again.

I’m pacing the floor of the Bigfoot office while I track her tardiness on my Bigfoot watch.

‘Oh, big whoop,’ she tells me, licking the creamy filling off her fingers.

A full seven and a half minutes and counting. His hairy hand is almost on the eight.

The eight.

I pace faster.

The door pops open and she’s standing in the doorway with her curly red hair in a long braid down her back and a Twinkie in her mouth.

I hold up my Bigfoot watch to show her that his hairy arms are pointed to the wrong numbers.

‘Late,’ I announce. ‘A whole eight minutes this time. Bigfoot Detectives Inc. employees are to clock in for their shifts at precisely 8:30.’

She swallows down her bite.

‘What time is it?’ she asks.

‘Eight thirty-eight.’

She pops the last of her cake in her mouth and rolls her eyes at me.

‘Oh, big whoop,’ she tells me, licking the creamy filling off her fingers.

‘It is a whoop and it is big because it’s going in your employee file.’ I inform her. ‘Section two, article five, paragraph six of the Bigfoot Detectives Employee Manual specifically addresses tardiness, attendance and professional demeanor.’

She pulls out the chair behind the Bigfoot metro desk where any and all cryptid sightings are called in for scientific investigation and analysis.

‘Make sure and add a five-star employee review in there while you’re at it,’ she tells me. ‘For all the Bigfoot discoveries I’ve made to date,’ she plops down on the chair. ‘Me.’

I push up my wire rims and stare at her.

‘Why would I do that? That falls under a completely different section,’ I say. ‘Section eleven, article one, paragraph two: Employee performance without being a big, fat know-it-all about it. Plus, I hate to be the one to inform you of this, but there’s no I in team.’

She smiles wide at me then with all her teeth, her chin in her hand.

‘Well, there’s one in mid-tarsal break,’ she says. ‘And I found it, so make sure to add that to your little file there too.’

The green phone on the metro desk jingles and I dive for it, but Lem grabs it first.

‘Hello?’ she says into the receiver. ‘You’ve reached Bigfoot Detectives Inc. This is Lemonade Liberty Witt, Assistant Bigfoot Detective. We handle all your Bigfoot needs . . . and uh, we can investigate sightings . . . uh or you know, if you have pictures or, um, find like a foot print or something . . .’

This is the exact reason I don’t let her answer the phone.

I slap my hand on my forehead and shake my head.

This is the exact reason I don’t let her answer the phone.

‘Why won’t you read the card?’ I whisper to her, pointing to the index card on the desk that I carefully printed out and lined up perfectly next to the message pad.

She picks it up and looks at it.

‘Established in 1974,’ she reads. ‘We are here to investigate and process any and all of your Bigfoot evidence here in Willow Creek, California. How may we help you with your Bigfoot needs today?’

She listens and then her lips stretch wide over her teeth again.

‘Oh, hi Mrs Dickerson,’ she says. ‘Did you have another sighting today?’

Mrs Dickerson calls in her Bigfoot sightings almost every day. We mostly don’t find any supporting evidence when we go to investigate, but she always has fresh cookies and tea for us so it’s worth the trip.

Lem listens again and then starts writing on the pad of paper in front of her.

‘Uh huh,’ she says. ‘I see . . . and then what happened?’

She listens again and then starts writing.

‘We can come out there right away.’

‘Did she make cookies?’ I ask her and she waves me away with her hand.

She listens.

‘Chocolate sprinkles?’ she exclaims, then she looks up at me and nods. ‘Well, we will be right out Mrs Dickerson.’

I point to the index card.

She gives me another eye roll.

Bigfoot, Tobin and Me - Melissa Savage

‘Thank you for trusting Bigfoot Detectives Inc. for all your Bigfoot investigative needs,’ she reads. ‘Please remember us for all of your future sightings. Good-bye.’

Lem hangs up the phone, rips the top sheet off the pad of paper and hands it to me.

‘She had a sighting,’ she tells me. ‘Another Bigfoot peeping in at her through the kitchen window while she was making fresh cookies this morning.’

‘Prints to dust for?’ I ask.

‘Didn’t say,’ she says.


‘Nope,’ she shakes her head. ‘No picture this time either.’

I look over her chicken scratching and can’t read a word on the page. Then I look at her over my wire rims.

‘What kind of cookies did she make?’

She smiles wide again.

‘The chocolate meringue cloud ones,’ she tells me. ‘She said this time she even added extra chocolate sprinkles on top.’

I smile now too.

The chocolate meringue clouds are my favourite.

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