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Kar All ma en Fra teri al C ntz opy en ww r w.m ight 201 ayt 1 hek 9s p y.c om m ay on t h e way :

How I Become a k9 Spy KC F r a n t z e n

I L LU STRATE D B Y TA I L L E F ER L O N G

rush j oy p r e ss


Kar All ma en Fra teri al C ntz opy en ww r w.m ight 201 ayt 1 hek 9s p y.c om CHAPTER 2

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oman has another stinky stick in her mouth. I try not to breathe as it jerks up and down. I’ve seen her upset, but never like this. “I don’t know what to do with you and this kid. With his father always gone, I can’t handle you both and have any time left for me so one burden has to go and obviously not my very own five year old.” Woman blows out the smoke. “But it’s tempting.” Ashes drift past while she yaps on. “Ya ‘member Nancy?”

You don’t ever expect an answer, but yes. She comes in and talks to me. “She knows some people who are moving. Said they’re friendly enough, plus they have a Schnauzer. Male I think. They might 11


Kar All ma en Fra teri al C ntz opy en ww r w.m ight 201 ayt 1 hek 9s p y.c om

KC Frantzen

“We don’t need or want them,” he says firmly. “She needs a home. What is her name?” “Uhhh, her show name is Princess.”

“Thank you. What do we owe you?”

Woman withers under the man’s fierce glare. She looks down. “No-nothing, I guess.”

The lady shifts. My rear rests on her hip, her paw supports my chest. I try not to wince. We keep walking towards the sunlight. Thump thump. Safe from my comfy vantage, I take a last look. Is this happening? As Woman reaches for the door handle, Monster explodes, flinging himself onto the stained carpet. I watch him thrash all his legs.

Yow, your screeching hurts my ears. Monster, you look so pitiful, I feel a little sorry. But, that is a great dying roach impression.

“Wolf-ee, Wolf-ee, I want my Wolf-eeeeeeeeee.”

Really! I didn’t know you cared! Now that I’m escaping, you don’t seem happy about it. (Oh, that’s not nice is it? I should try hard and be a wee bit charitable.) Perhaps I am your favorite toy for now. You’ll find something else. My captor stops… and inhales.

I hold my breath too. You’re ready to blast me for something, but for what? I barely moved a whisker! I want to… to please you. 18


Kar All ma en Fra teri al C ntz opy en ww r w.m ight 201 ayt 1 hek 9s p y.c om

May on the Way

What? A ritual greeting? This howling dog looks like me, except bigger. “Hey Dad, hey Mom. I missed you! Welcome home! Hey Dad, hey Mom!” The ceremony stops when he stretches his nose for a closer sniff. “Hey… who’s this?” Dad smiles. “Come meet your new little sister.” “Be nice,” says Mom.

Hans bounces on his hind legs, stretching and sniffing. When all four paws finally hit the floor, he circles us again. “AAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaooooOOOOOOOOOO!”

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Kar All ma en Fra teri al C ntz opy en ww r w.m ight 201 ayt 1 hek 9s p y.c om

May on the Way

relaxed and had some fun. Yawn. I’m going to bed. C’mon.” He grabs his chewy and takes off in a different direction. I follow him, slinging Lobbie. But then there are four dogs in the hall. One looks exactly like Hans! And there’s another one with a lobbie just like mine. Where’d they come from? When I set Lobbie down to ask Hans, the other dog does too! Wonder of wonders! “Hey Hans...” I sniff but it doesn’t smell like a dog. It smells like glass. But there’s something familiar. I move, it moves. HEY! That’s ME! When he sees me standing nose to nose, he laughs. “That’s a mirror. It shows what we look like.” “I’ve seen a reflection in the stove door, but never noticed myself before.” “Yes, you look good. Time to move on and get to bed.”

After Dad gets me settled in, I lie awake, thinking about stuff.

I still can’t believe April did that for Hans. She grouches at me. I snagged her tail earlier, just playing, but she sure wasn’t happy about it. She scowled and said, “There are only two dog beds at the new place. No room for you, Pest.” It makes me wonder. I scent other dogs on this bed they gave me, but they aren’t around. So… Where they will send me? Surely not back… to them… 43


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Kar All ma en Fra teri al C ntz opy en ww r w.m ight 201 ayt 1 hek 9s p y.c om

KC Frantzen


Kar All ma en Fra teri al C ntz opy en ww r w.m ight 201 ayt 1 hek 9s p y.c om

KC Frantzen

I duck and quickly step into the back. Grouch snaps when I pass by, not quite scoring my left hind foot. I think she missed on purpose.

“APRIL! Leave her alone!” Mom glares at both of us. “Y’all behave! Yes Hans, you’re behaving already. May, give me your lobbie. Good girl. See? It’s going right here in the sack by my feet so we’ll know where it is. And May, we’ll not have any sass. Understand?”

You shouldn’t have pushed me. Dad yelled at me. And Grouch tried to bite me. And you took Lobbie. It’s been a hard day, a real hard day. Guess I’ll just be squished here.

On this little bitty corner of towel.

Between Hans and the clothes.

Jammed next to the window.

In the dark.

When I hear “We’ll miss you!” I sit up real straight. I can see humans moving their top legs, I mean arms, in the air back and forth, like a signal. 50


Kar All ma en Fra teri al C ntz opy en ww r w.m ight 201 ayt 1 hek 9s p y.c om

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Kar All ma en Fra teri al C ntz opy en ww r w.m ight 201 ayt 1 hek 9s p y.c om CHAPTER 9

D

ad and Mom each dash to a door, keeping their eyes fixed on the bathroom wall. Lobbie and I move to the step, not far from snoring April. Hans only shifts an ear and blinks. “Sounds like it’s under control.” Yaawwnn. I think he’s afraid to lose his place.

Mom whispers, “Now what? The screen door is set fully open on my side.” “Mine too,” Dad replies. “Turn on the porch light and I’ll turn the lights off in here. But give me a sec to find the broom.” “Don’t bats use radar?”

“True, but I think it’ll keep the moths out. We can still see well enough to shoo it out.” 61


Kar All ma en Fra teri al C ntz opy en ww r w.m ight 201 ayt 1 hek 9s p y.c om

May on the Way

“I won’t.” She doesn’t sound too grouchy. We trot along the barn then up towards the house. She sniffs and listens and watches, all senses alert. I try it too. April looks at me with stern amusement. “I have my responsibilities. It is my duty to protect from squirrels or burglars, terrorists or anarchists, or who or whatever else might be lurking. Has the family ever been attacked? Not on my watch. They have nothing to fear, I am on guard.” “Bet no one messes with you. Except Dad.” She gives me a look.

A burst of breeze stirs the new leaves and my nose starts to drip. “PEEYEWWW, what’s that smell? Oh look, by the rock – a beautiful cat (I think it’s a cat…) with glistening black and white fur. She looks so sophisticated. Maybe she wants to play!” I watch her step delicately down the rocky path towards us, not a care in the world. April continues scanning and says, “Leave her alone, Pest. She is not a threat to security, nor is she the type for games.” “But it’s a great day to play! She’s just not noticed us. Let’s introduce ourselves and suggest a game.” “One. No, I am on duty. Two. I assure you, she has. Three. I would not approach if I were you.” “You’re just sorry you didn’t think of it.” But before I can say hello, the cat that isn’t a cat raises her furry tail and promenades past.

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Kar All ma en Fra teri al C ntz opy en ww r w.m ight 201 ayt 1 hek 9s p y.c om CHAPTER 16

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hey’ve been busier these past two days but this morning, they won’t play at all. Dad and April are tinkering in the yard. Mom’s been scurrying around, stashing my toys. Now she’s cleaning, using a noisy device she calls “vacuum.” Hans just attacked it for the third time. As he retreats I ask, “Hans, what’s going on? Wanna play? I’ve brought out my… uh… your ball, and my bear, and Lobbie but Mom keeps putting them away.” Keeping his eyes on the vacuum, he says, “I hate that thing. Have since I first heard it. It’s loud and Mom walks all over the house with it. I can’t rest.” “It does have an evil look. I don’t like it, but I’m not going to attack.” 105


Kar All ma en Fra teri al C ntz opy en ww r w.m ight 201 ayt 1 hek 9s p y.c om CHAPTER 28

I

’m so excited to be part of the K9 team! I’ve only had quick training on the helicopter, but they tell me I have common sense and street smarts.

When we arrive at BWI, which is code for “airport” in a place called “Baltimore,” we meet our contacts. They just missed Rabba, I mean Rukan. He was traveling incognito by train and bus from a place called Falls Church, (I want to see the falling church, but some other time) and slipped past security. Humans... So unaware.

We take a train ourselves, to the “Metro Ops Center.” When I balk getting on these moving stairs Miss Sandy whispers, “It’s an escalator. In some countries, K9 operatives called strays ride them 173


May on the Way