As sundown approached over the afternoon sky, Cruella returned to her study inside the manor and picked up a telephone. After punching in some numbers, Cruella waited until the third ring for someone to pick up the phone on the other line. From the man's voice, Cruella knew instantly who it was she had called, along with his brother.
"Horace, put your brother Jasper on the phone. I need to tell him about some business. It's something you and Jasper should assist me," said Cruella, a little harsh but sly. She waited until Jasper had the phone, before she asked, "Jasper, we need to talk about a little business transaction."
"What business transaction, madam?" asked Jasper, interested.
"We have three chipmunks on the loose. I have a lead on where they might have run off to, but you won't believe your ears when you hear what I have to say," said Cruella, slyly.
Chuckling on the other line, Jasper asked, politely, "Madam, I'm certain whatever it is you're asking us to do, Horace and I would be most honored to help you."
"Good," said Cruella, pleased now. "Here's what I need you two to do for me…" Her voice dropped to a low mutter as she told the Badun brothers about the three talking, singing chipmunks that stopped by her manor two days ago.
When Theodore awoke, he found Alvin and Simon already standing on the nearest thick branch. Peering up at the tops of the tree, Theodore spotted a bright white light glinting back at him, as if it wanted to welcome him to the unfamiliar landscape. Theodore rushed towards his two brothers, just as Simon pointed out the landscape was actually a countryside that he heard the people say was called the Shire. Although he and his brothers were just as confused as he was, Alvin nonetheless inhaled the fresh air in delight.
Exhaling in relief, Alvin told his two brothers, "You couldn't get a good whiff of that fresh air than in this place! I like it already! We could stay here, guys. It has open spaces, fields, trees, rounded houses and hills…"
"But where are the mountains?" asked Theodore, now concerned. "Back in our forest, we had mountains surrounding our forest. I don't see any mountains."
Simon shook his head. Now aggravated, he told his youngest brother, "Theodore, we're in a village. All I can see are rolling hills for miles."
"Maybe someone here knows exactly where we are. Should we ask someone for a place to stay for a few days, until we find Dave?" asked Theodore, thinking of the right thing to do.
"I doubt these people would know where to find Dave," said Simon, admitting the truth.
Alvin announced, as he pointed out one of the folk, "I think I see one, and he appears to be carrying a basket. It's not the best escape plan, but we did it before when we first met Dave. Let's do it again!"
"Alvin, wait. We need to think logically about this first," said Simon, pulling Alvin back in time, before the chipmunk could leap down from the tree. "These people – this folk doesn't know about the modern-day era, or else they would know something about Dave Seville."
"Does it matter?" asked Alvin, and then asked further, suspiciously, "Wait a second – how would you know these people are from a different era?"
Simon explained, "While you and Theodore were attempting to avoid reading the book, I actually read a few lines from the pages. This is clearly the Shire, as some of these folk said down below this tree. I'm guessing they're little people because…"
"We're little, Simon," said Theodore, innocently.
Simon tried to tell his youngest brother, "I know, Theodore, but Alvin would rather…"
Alvin quickly made an excuse, "Well, I'm certain the history lesson would have been nice, but let's get down from this tree before…"
"Alvin, there's something you should know before we…" Simon's voice dropped as he and his brothers heard two male hobbits arguing, but one of the hobbits acted wicked during the argument. Muttering to Alvin, Simon told him, "Alvin, we need to think about this first. We can't just enter this village and expect any gratitude from these people. They probably don't even know what we're called as a breed."
Thinking for a brief moment, Alvin told Simon and Theodore, "I'm sorry, but I didn't hear you. Anyway, that fellow has a basket and I suggest we get inside that basket before he or anyone else suspects we're here."
"Do you think we should follow him?" asked Theodore, who managed to get Alvin to agree with his plan.
Simon asked himself, while groaning, "Why me?" He then chased after Alvin and Theodore, who were quickly hiding behind bushes and rocks to catch up to the hobbit with the closed basket in his hand.
I would like to thank ValueMyHeart and SweetDarkSilence for helping me come up with ideas for this prequel. Without their assistance, the prequel to Case of the Missing Chipmunks might not have been possible. Also, I would like to thank you, the readers, for reading this story. Feel free to read the story Case of the Missing Chipmunks, as that is naturally the next story to read in these chipmunk tales.
- Aria Breuer